Despite growing public concern over proposed service cuts, city union leaders rejected a Toronto city councillor's call for unpaid days off to help curtail the city's financial woes.

City councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong has suggested the city institute a program similar to "Rae days" that would give workers a week of unpaid leave a year.

Contract talks with city workers begin in early 2008, but union heads say they have no intention of bowing to a cash-strapped city.

"We've made massive concessions over the years that are still affecting our membership. We have no intention of making concessions in the next round of bargaining, "Bob Kinnear, of the Amalgamated Transit Union, told CTV News on Tuesday.

Miller has said the last time the city cut transit services; it took nearly a decade for the TTC to recover.

"Miller time," as Minnan-Wong calls it, was formulated on the controversial "Rae days" plan that was instituted in the 1990s while Bob Rae was premier of Ontario.

The plan forced public-sector employees to take unpaid days off, effectively saving the province an estimated $2 billion.

"The idea is Miller time, where city staff gets days off, the city makes some savings, and minimal impact on Toronto residents and families," Minnan-Wong told CTV News on Tuesday.

Toronto's budget chief, Shelley Carroll, says "Miller time" just wouldn't work on the municipal level.

"At the city level it actually saves zero. You could send some garbage men home for eight days but someone else has to pick up the garbage," Carroll told CTV News.

"We don't save anything from sending people home. They've got to be replaced."

The city faces a potential $575 million budget shortfall next year.

Last week, Mayor David Miller ordered spending within public service departments to be tightened and warned of large cuts to city services after two proposed taxes were deferred until after the October provincial election.

The proposed land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee would have raised $350 million for cash-strapped Toronto.

City officials warned Thursday the Sheppard line, which costs the city about $10 million a year to operate, may be shut down, along with 20 underused bus routes in the city, including the 26 Dupont, 67 Pharmacy and 120 Calvington.

The TTC alone has to chop $30 million from its budget for this year and another $100 million next year.

Miller maintains the downloading of services from the province has crippled Toronto.

With a report from CTV's Desmond Brown