Letters of Understanding are signed at the sole discretion of the Business Manager of the Local. It’s done on a fairly regular basis and the only time they are officially voted on is when they come up for renewal during contract negotiations.
In 2019 I signed LOU #14 concerning Reporting Pay at EPCOR Technologies. It only applied to Technologies. It certainly did not result in any layoffs, those unfortunately came late in the year due to a significant shortfall in Streetlight and Traffic work. (you should talk to your City Councillor about that when we get out of the COVID disaster).
The Company approached me a short time ago and asked if I would extend that LOU for the duration of 2020. It stated categorically in the preamble it would only be used in the event restrictions were placed on Technologies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If no restrictions were placed on the Company, it would not be used.
When I signed the letter in 2019 a sizeable number of the members at Technologies opposed it. This time I decided to conduct a straw pole to gauge the mood of the Membership at Technologies (because they were the only people who would be affected by the letter). To be crystal clear I WOULD NOT HAVE VOTED TO SIGN THE EXTENSION. However if the majority of those eligible to vote had said yes, I would have signed it on their behalf.
This straw vote was a one-time-charley deal, it will NOT become the norm.
I know there were some of our members at D&T who questioned why they were not eligible to vote. I hope the explanation above clears that up.
A few years ago I signed a Letter of Understanding that gave our Linemen a $3 per/hr market adjustment. At the time Linemen were like hen’s teeth. I signed that LOU for the good of the Union. That’s my only consideration when I sign an LOU. If I’d put that one to a vote of the entire membership it would have been soundly defeated and that would NOT have been in the Union’s interest.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever see another straw pole vote on an LOU. Instead I will continue to do my job and make those decisions for the good of the Union.