The City of Vancouver paid non-union workers $8.4 million in overtime wages during last fall’s civic strike — a figure that is not sitting well with union representatives.

"I was pretty disappointed and upset (to hear of the figure)," said CUPE 1004 president Mike Jackson. "It was money that could have been utilized to continue the services rather than hold everybody out until they felt it was appropriate to settle the strike."

All 570 non-union workers were paid $77 an hour for overtime, whereas many union workers are typically paid $40, said Jackson.

"The amount of money that they spent on overtime amounts to about 20 per cent of our total payout," he said. "What they [spent] in three months would keep us going for a while."

The highest-paid non-union employee took in $43,000 in overtime during the 83-day strike. While the city is required to disclose to the public the names of people who make over $75,000 a year, it would not reveal who took in the extra $43,000.

"That just shows the arrogance of the City of Vancouver," said CUPE 15 President Paul Faoro. "And here we have (Mayor Sam Sullivan) talking about accountability and being open?

"This is a clear example of another attempt to cover up public information."

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