17:0837(113)CA - SSA, Baltimore, MD and SSA Region VII, Clayton District, Clayton, MO and AFGE Local 2916 -- 1985 FLRAdec CA



[ v17 p837 ]
17:0837(113)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 17 FLRA No. 113
 
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 
 BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 
 
 and 
 
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 
 REGION VII, CLAYTON DISTRICT, 
 CLAYTON, MISSOURI 
 Respondents
 
 and 
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 2916 
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 7-CA-30271
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules
 and Regulations.
 
    Upon consideration of the entire record, including the stipulation of
 facts, accompanying exhibits, and the parties' contentions, /1/ the
 Authority finds:
 
    The complaint alleges that the Social Security Administration,
 Baltimore, Maryland and Social Security Administration, Region VII,
 Clayton District, Clayton, Missouri (the Respondents) violated section
 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute /2/ by refusing to furnish
 information requested under section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute /3/ to the
 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2916 (the
 Union) pertaining to the performance ratings of certain employees in the
 Clayton District which is necessary to process a grievance filed by the
 Union.
 
    The stipulated facts show that the Union filed a grievance alleging,
 among other things, that October, 1982 performance appraisal ratings for
 employees in one of the offices in the Clayton District were uniformly
 higher than those for bargaining unit employees in other offices in that
 District, and that the disparities were not justified by the actual
 performance of the employees.  In order to support this grievance, the
 Union requested copies of the audits of the approximately 20 employees
 who received the highest ratings on the performance appraisals, all of
 whom were located in the same office within the Clayton District as
 mentioned above.  The audits quantify tasks that employees perform
 relating to the job elements used in appraising their performance.  The
 parties stipulated further that the audits would show whether the
 performance of employees receiving the highest ratings on their
 appraisals were significantly different from the performance of other
 employees within the Clayton District, and that this information would
 support or refute the claims alleged by the Union in its grievance.
 Upon receiving the Union's request for the audits, the Respondents
 refused to furnish the information.
 
    The issue before the Authority is whether the audits were reasonably
 available and necessary for the Union to perform its representational
 function within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute.  The
 General Counsel contends that the information was necessary because it
 would have supported an allegation made by the Union in its grievance
 that various employees in the Clayton District performing the same
 caliber of work received different performance ratings and, therefore,
 the Union could have determined whether to pursue the grievance.  The
 Respondents assert that the information was not necessary, and that the
 Union's request was too broad and unduly burdensome.
 
    It is concluded that the information sought here is necessary within
 the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute.  Thus, as stipulated
 by the parties, the audits would have allowed the Union to determine
 whether the performance of employees in one particular office within the
 Clayton District was superior to the performance of employees in other
 offices within that District who performed comparable work but received
 different performance ratings, and therefore whether to pursue the
 grievance.  See United States Environmental Protection Agency, Health
 Effects Research Laboratory, Cincinnati, Ohio, 16 FLRA No. 16 (1984);
 Internal Revenue Service, Buffalo District, Buffalo, New York, 7 FLRA
 654 (1982).  Further, contrary to the Respondent's contention, the
 Authority concludes that the record demonstrates the information sought
 was reasonably available within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the
 Statute, was sufficiently specific to be identified, could have been
 furnished to the Union without creating an undue burden on the
 Respondents, and would be sanitized to protect employee rights under the
 Privacy Act.  /4/
 
    Having concluded that the Respondents refused to furnish information
 which is reasonably available and necessary within the meaning of
 section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, the Authority finds that the
 Respondents violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, it is
 hereby ordered that the Social Security Administration, Baltimore,
 Maryland and the Social Security Administration, Region VII, Clayton
 District, Clayton, Missouri shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Refusing to provide the American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2916, the employees' exclusive representative,
 with all requested data reasonably available and necessary for it to
 prope