24:0226(28)CA - Air Force, Scott AFB, IL and NAGE, SEIU, Local R7-23 -- 1986 FLRAdec CA
[ v24 p226 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
24 FLRA No. 28 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS Respondent and NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, SEIU, LOCAL R7-23 Charging Party Case No. 5-CA-40232 DECISION AND ORDER I. Statement of the Case This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on exceptions filed by the General Counsel and the Charging Party (the Union). The Respondent (Agency) filed an opposition to the exceptions. The issue is whether it is an unfair labor practice under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) for the Respondent to refuse a request, made pursuant to section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, to provide the Union with the home addresses of new employees in a bargaining unit which the Union exclusively represents. In a recent Decision and Order on Remand, Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101 (1986) (FHAFO), we reviewed the Authority's previous decision concerning the release of the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees to exclusive representatives. We concluded that the release of the information is not prohibited by law, is necessary for unions to fulfill their duties under the Statute, and meets all of the other requirements established by section 7114(b)(4). We also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. Consistent with our decision on remand in FHAFO, we conclude that Respondent's refusal to provide the Union with the home addresses sought in this case violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute. II. Facts The Union requested the home addresses of all new bargaining unit employees in order to send them an orientation package. The Respondent denied the request on the ground that disclosure of the information would violate the Privacy Act. /1/ However, the Respondent gave the Union a list of the new employees and their work addresses. III. The Administrative Law Judge's Decision The Judge concluded that the Respondent had not failed to comply with the requirements of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute in violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) when it refused to provide the Union with the home addresses of all new unit employees represented by the Union. The Judge found that the home addresses were reasonably available to the Respondent and that the Union was seeking the data for a relevant purpose within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. However, the Judge also found that the Respondent's willingness to have mail addressed to employees at their work addresses delivered through the Respondent's internal mailing system provided the Union with an effective alternative means of communicating with the employees. He therefore concluded that the Union had not established that the home addresses were necessary within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) and he recommended that the complaint against the Respondent be dismissed. IV. Positions of the Parties The positions of the parties are set forth in the General Counsel's and the Union's exceptions and the Respondent's opposition. /2/ In their exceptions, the General Counsel and the Union reiterate arguments made before the Judge that mailings made to work locations lack confidentiality and that receipt of such material at the workplace is disruptive to work procedures. The General Counsel also argues that the work address information provided the Union was not sufficiently accurate. In its opposition, the Respondent essentially disagrees with the arguments that the alternative means of communication lack confidentiality, would be disruptive and are otherwise inadequate. V. Analysis and Conclusion As noted above, the Authority in the decision on remand in FHAFO concluded that the release of home addresses of bargaining unit employees to the exclusive representatives of these employees is not prohibited by law, is necessary for unions to fulfill their duties under the Statute, and meets the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4). We also determined that agencies are required to furnish such information without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. Based on our decision on remand in the FHAFO case, we find that the Respondent in this case was required to furnish the Union with the home addresses of the new employees in the bargaining unit. Thus, we conclude that the Respondent's refusal to furnish the requested information in this case constituted a violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute. ORDER Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, it is ordered that the Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, shall: 1. Cease and desist from: (a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Association of Government Employees, Local R7-23, the exclusive representative of its employees, the home addresses of all new employees in the bargaining unit it represents. (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Statute. 2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute: (a) Upon request by the National Association of Government Employees, Local R7-23, the exclusive representative of its employees, furnish it with the home addresses of new employees in the bargaining unit it represents. (b) Post at all its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the National Association of Government Employees, Local R7-23 are located, copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by a senior official of the Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material. (c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region V, Federal Labor Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply. Issued, Washington, D.C., November 26, 1986. /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member /s/ Jean McKee, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71 OF TITLE 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT: WE WILL NOT refuse to furnish, upon request of the National Association of Government Employees, Local R7-23, the exclusive representative of our employees, the home addresses of all new employees in the bargaining unit it represents. WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute. WE WILL, upon request by the National Association of Government Employees, Local R7-23, the exclusive representative of our employees, furnish it with the home addresses of all new employees in the bargaining unit it represents. (Activity). . . Dated: . . . By: (Signature) (Title) . . . This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material. If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Region V, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1359-A, Chicago, IL 60604 and whose telephone number is: (312) 353-6306. -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS -------------------- Case No. 5-CA-40232 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS Respondent and NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL R7-23 Charging Party Major Charles L. Brower, Esquire For the Respondent Mark B. Clevenger, Esquire For the Charging Party Sandra J. LeBold, Esquire For the General Counsel Before: GARVIN LEE OLIVER Administrative Law Judge DECISION Statement of the Case This decision concerns an unfair labor practice complaint issued by the Regional Director, Region Five, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Chicago, Illinois against the Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois (Respondent), based on an amended charge filed by the National Association of Government Employees, Local R7-23 (Charging Party or Union). The complaint alleged, in substance, that Respondent has refused to furnish to the Union the home addresses of new employees; that such refusal constitutes a violation of section 7114(b)(4) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. Section 7101 et seq. (the Statute); and an unfair labor practice in violation of sections 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute. Respondent's answer denied any violation of the Statute. A hearing was held at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The Respondent, Charging Party, and the General Counsel were represented by counsel and afforded full opportunity to be heard, adduce relevant evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and file post-hearing briefs. Counsel for the Respondent and the General Counsel filed helpful briefs, and the proposed findings have been adopted in whole or in substance where found supported by the record as a whole. Based on the entire record, including my observation of the witnesses and their demeanor, I make the following findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations. Findings of Fact 1. At all times material herein, the Union has been recognized as the exclusive representative of an appropriate unit of Air Force employees assigned to Respondent (Tr. 6; Joint Ex. 5). 2. On March 14, 1984, the Respondent conducted a new employee orientation session (General Counsel's Ex. 1(c) and 1(d)). This was the first such session that the Respondent had conducted in almost two years. The Union won the right to be present and distribute literature at new employee orientation sessions during its 1982 contract negotiations. /3/ (Tr. 16, 91-92, Joint Ex. 5). This was the first orientation session since those negotiations (Tr. 16). 3. Carl Denton, Union president, was informed of the session by Raymond Rush, labor relations specialist, on the morning of March 14, 1984 at approximately 8:20 a.m. Mr. Rush first became aware of the meeting that same morning. The session had begun at 8:00 a.m. Mr. Denton rushed over to the meeting, stopping on the way at the Union office to pick up some copies of the contract and other Union literature (Tr. 13-14). 4. Mr. Denton arrived at the orientation at about 9:15 a.m. at which time the orientation participants were on break. Although Mr. Denton missed the first two segments of the orientation program -- the introduction from 8:00 to 8:10 a.m. and the staffing and equal employment opportunity segment which began at 8:10 a.m. -- he was present when the next scheduled segment -- employee management relations -- began at 9:35 a.m. (Tr. 14-15; Joint Ex. 4). 5. During this segment, Lorenda Kelch, the presiding management official, introduced Mr. Denton and permitted him to address the group of approximately 65 employees. Denton was nervous and ill-prepared due to the last minute notice. However, he advised the group of the general purpose of the Union, the location of the Union office, the Union office telephone number, the names of the officers, that the Union must represent everyone in the bargaining unit, and that there were Union stewards available to assist them. He distributed some copies of the collective bargaining agreement, some NAGE "news-type bulletins," the local NAGE newspaper, and the national NAGE newspaper. He ran out of most of the materials because, not being informed of the session in advance, he did not know how many employees would be present. Later, during a question and answer session, Ms. Kelch deferred to Denton to answer a question which had been directed to her. (Tr. 14-18; 43-50). 6. Between July 21, 1982 and March 14, 1984, Respondent hired 166 employees (Joint Ex. 3). Only 66 attended the March 14, 1984 orientation session, although Respondent considered attendance to be mandatory (Joint Ex. 2; General Counsel's Ex. 2). 7. On March 21, 1984 Mr. Denton sent to Respondent a letter requesting, among other things, the home addresses and office symbols of all employees hired since the last previous new employee orientation session (Joint Ex. 1). An office symbol is an employee's official business address (Tr. 54). The information was requested "in order to provide all new employees with a union orientation session and to police our rights in this regard . . ." (Joint Ex. 1). 8. The Union wanted to communicate with both those who had attended the orientation session and those who had not (Tr. 21). It wished to inform new employees who did not attend the session of the existence of the Union, the identity of Union officers in the various areas, and the location of the Union office, to let them know that if there were problems, there was a Union (Tr. 20). It wanted to communicate with the employees who had attended the session regarding matters which the Union may have inadequately presented or omitted due to the failure of Respondent to give the Union advance notice of the session (Tr. 67-68). Also, the Union desired to communicate concerning matters presented by management at the orientation session with which it did not agree (Tr. 19-20, 52). The Union wanted to give both groups of new employees a new employee orientation package. Although the Union had not determined exactly what it would contain, it would include a copy of the labor management agreement. The Union had run out of copies of the agreement at the session. The package would also possibly include information concerning negotiations and important grievances (Tr. 53-54, 61). Mr. Denton asserted that some of the material might also possibly be confidential (Tr. 67). 9. In response to the Union's March 21, 1984 request, Respondent, by letter of April 4, 1984, replied to the Union's request for home addresses by stating, ". . . this office is prohibited by applicable provisions of the Privacy Act from releasing home address(es) of employees." However, Respondent promised to provide a listing of new employees by organization under separate cover. Respondent included a copy of the attendance form filled out by each of the employees who attended the March 14 orientation session. On each form the employee listed his "organization and office symbol." (Joint Ex. 2; General Counsel's Ex. 2). 10. Respondent, by letter of April 17, 1984, provided the Union with a listing by organization of the employees hired between July 21, 1982 and March 14, 1984. An organizational symbol for each listing was included in the upper right-hand corner. (Joint Ex. 3). 11. By letter of May 2, 1984 the Union complained that an unspecified number of the office symbols were incorrect, and that even if they were correct, "Base Distribution (Respondent's internal distribution system) would not necessarily deliver the mailings." The Union stated, "We request that you either provide correct office symbols for each new employee listed or provide their home address." (Joint Ex. 6A). 12. Following a May 8 interim response (Joint Ex. 6C), Respondent, by letter of June 22, 1984, informed the Union that although the base distribution system has always restricted delivery of mail to exclusive government business, management had been authorized on a test basis to deliver mass mailings "as long as there is a correct functional address symbol" (2) that if the address was incorrect, the mail would be indorsed "undeliverable as addressed" and returned to the sender, and (3) that if the Union were to inform Respondent of any "specific instances" of incorrect data, Respondent would correct them (Joint Ex. 6B). The record does not reflect a further Union response. 13. Respondent and the General Counsel are in dispute as to whether Respondent provided the Union the "office symbols," a business address or "correct functional address symbol," of each new employee which could have been used with the internal distribution system. The dispute stems from the term "office symbol" used in the Union's request. The Union requested "office symbols" in its March 21, 1984 request. Respondent furnished a listing of new employees "by organization" and the listing included organizational symbols. That the organizational symbols may not be correct as a mailing address is illustrated by the fact that the organizational symbols do not in every instance match "organization and office symbol" listed by some employees themselves on the attendance form of the session. For example, a random check indicates that Respondent's listing for the "375 ABS Gp" includes Gary L. Hearne and Herman A. Hockaday, Jr. However, Hearne and Hockaday attended the session and listed their respective "organization and office symbol" as "375 ABG/SSRS" and "375 ABG/DAD." Respondent's listing of "MCO CT CQTR" includes Gladys A. Ronck. Ronck listed her organizational and office symbol as "HQMAC/TRPRC." Similarly, Oscar Gary Wells supposedly in "MAC CM MADA" listed "HQMAC/DADD." (Joint Ex. 3; General Counsel's Ex. 2). The record does not indicate which would be the "correct functional address symbol" for use of the internal mail system. However, the Union made no effort to have Respondent correct any noted discrepancies, which Respondent offered to do, and it is clear under these circumstances that the correct functional address symbol of each new employee is available to the Union upon request. Circumstances Relating to Union Access to New Employees 14. Scott Air Force Base is situated on approximately 2500 acres of land in southwest Illinois (Tr. 103). Employees work in approximately 100 different buildings (Tr. 30). There are 3,000 - 3,500 civilian employees working on the base. Of these, 2,400 - 2,500 are bargaining unit employees (Tr. 29, 62, 104) and 400 are Union members (Tr. 30). Employees live in various cities and towns covering a wide geographic area which includes the states of Illinois and Missouri. Some employees live as far as 50 miles away from the base (Tr. 26). 15. While a majority of civilian employees are located in a central two-building complex, /4/ large numbers of employees work in buildings which are some distance from this area. The Union estimated that 40% or approximately 1000 bargaining unit employees are not located in the central two-building complex (Tr. 114-115). Respondent estimated that 1200 - 1300 civilian employees work in buildings other than the central two-building complex /5/ (Tr. 103-104). Buildings 861, 859, 865 and 700 make up Area Two, which is approximately one mile from the central complex (Tr. 116). The commissary is a ten minute walk from the central area. The Consolidated Airlift Maintenance Squadron and the Civilian Engineering Squadron are each two or three blocks from the central complex (Tr. 117). The Hospital or Medical Squadron is approximately one-half mile from the central location (Tr. 118). Certain buildings, notably "DECCO" Headquarters and MAC Headquarters, have secured areas requiring badges and an escort for entrance. However, these secured areas have public access lobbies. (Tr. 30, 62-63). 16. The Union has the following means of communicating with bargaining unit employees. a. Use of bulletin boards. /6/ There are 50- 80 official bulletin boards and 25 - 30 other bulletin boards (Tr. 55, 97-98). The Union has had difficulty acquiring space on only three bulletin boards (Tr. 57-59). The Union asserted that information on the bulletin boards is often outdated (Tr. 24); however, it is the Union which determines what information shall appear on the reserved portions of these bulletin boards (Tr. 55, 97-98). The Union also claimed that it had insufficient numbers of stewards to maintain the bulletin boards in all buildings; however, pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement, the number of stewards is up to the Union. Finally, the Union claims that employees seldom look at bulletin boards, and this would not be a reliable way to reach new employees with the large quantity of information that the Union wanted to deliver in the orientation package (Tr. 24-25). Although, the Union could post notices concerning the availability of the information from the Union office, I agree that bulletin boards would not be a reliable way to reach employees with a large quantity of information. b. Use of Respondent's newspaper and base bulletin to make general announcements and notices of meetings, picnics, and parties, and for unofficial announcements. /7/ (Tr. 25, 98-99). Although, the Union could publish a notice inviting any new employee interested in an orientation package to call the Union office, these media would not be able to provide the space the Union wished to provide new employees with a complete orientation to the Union. c. Use of intra-base telephone facilities and an office. /8/ Current office telephone numbers of employees are not maintained (Joint Ex. 2). Calling after hours would also be time-consuming and difficult due to the lack of home telephone numbers or telephone directories of the many different communities in which the employees live. d. Use of designated locations to distribute handbills or other informational literature, including Union newspapers /9/ (Tr. 30, 101-102). The Union has never invoked this contractual right. (Tr. 101-102). However, since the Union was only trying to communicate with 166 new employees, handbilling of all employees at particular locations would not be efficient. e. A listing of bargaining unit employees is to be provided to the Union once a year upon request /10/ (Tr. 102). The agreement provides that the list will include names, grades, series and organizational element. Since August 1982 the Union has requested such a listing only once (Tr. 103). The total list would not help in reaching new employees. The Union already knows their identities. f. Use of officers and stewards. /11/ Pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement the Union may designate the number of stewards "reasonably required . . . to assure that each employee is properly represented, except that no more than one steward may be assigned per shift to a work area." The Union has approximately 18 officers and 24 stewards on the base. However, only four or five of the stewards are General Schedule employees. Stewards are not assigned to every shift and every building. Stewards also have only limited access to employees working in secured areas. (Tr. 63-64, 100, 108; Respondent's Ex. 2). g. The Union holds meetings once a month. These meetings are open to Union members only (Tr. 31-32, 100-101). As noted, Respondent permits the Union to announce meetings in the base newspaper and bulletin. Meetings during non-duty hours are not well attended (Tr. 38-31, 100-101). Respondent's "mandatory" orientation session during duty hours was also not well attended. h. The Union publishes a Union newsletter when it can afford to do so, which is not very often. It is mailed to Union members and others who supply the Union with their addresses (Tr. 31, 99-100; Respondent's Ex. 2). 17. The Union does not have access to the base's internal mailing system free of charge. It is restricted to official mail. As noted in paragraph 13 above, sometime after the information request was made in March 1984, management, in June 1984, disclosed the existence of a test whereby mass mailings from unofficial sources could be delivered through the base distribution system. The effective period for the test was not stated. It appears that at one time the test was scheduled to last for one year and would have expired at the end of 1983. It did not (Tr. 27, 66, 69-70). All of the parties, as of the time of the hearing, were uncertain as to whether the Union could or could not use the internal mail system pursuant to this test (Tr. 68-70). In its brief Respondent now takes the unequivocal position that the Union could have used the internal mail system pursuant to the experimental test. However, I decline to make such a finding because of the obvious uncertainty of its availability during the relevant period. 18. Although the Union could not use the internal mailing system cost-free, it still had access to the employees through the system by addressing mail to an employee's office symbol, paying the necessary U.S. postage, and sending it through the U.S. Postal Service which would ultimately transfer the mail to Respondent for distribution through Respondent's internal mailing system. (Tr. 65-66; Respondent's brief, p. 2; Joint Ex. 6A, par. 2, last sentence). 19. Mr. Denton testified that addressing mail to employees' business addresses on the base would not be an acceptable alternative to mailing to their home addresses. He testified that he has received reports of "several occasions" when personal mail has been opened first by secretaries or other administrative personnel before being received by the addressees. He has had some of his own mail so opened with a "sorry" written on it. He also felt that a Union orientation package might include items of a confidential nature which the Union wouldn't want management as a whole to know about. Finally, Mr. Denton testified that such mail might disrupt the work of the base (Tr. 27-28; 60-61). Availability of Home Addresses 20. Respondent maintains the home addresses of employees in the regular course of business in official personnel files and in computer data banks (Tr. 72, 78). Such data does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining (Tr. 7). a. Each official personnel file contains a home address, but there is no guarantee it is accurate (Tr. 74). The personnel files are used by six different sections in the Civilian Personnel Office containing about 30 employees. At any given time approximately 20% (about 640) of the personnel files are out of the master file, being used by one of the 30 employees (Tr. 73). Assuming that each personnel file were not signed out of the master file, it would take a civilian personnel office employee earning from $4.50 to $16.00 per hour approximately two minutes to manually extract the home address. (Tr. 73-75). Under these conditions, it would require about five hours and the cost to Respondent of extracting the home addresses of each of the new bargaining unit employees would be anywhere from $25.00 to $85.00. The higher figure would result if higher graded employees were used in order to provide the information in an extremely short time (Tr. 74). There is no indication that the Union made time of the essence in its request. If the file were not in the master file and Respondent were required to search for the file throughout the personnel office, the time and cost required could increase significantly (Tr. 73-74). b. The home addresses are also maintained in Respondent's computer data base (Tr. 78-80), but in order to extract that information the following tasks (with costs indicated) must be performed (Tr. 78): TASK TIME COST PER HOUR TOTAL COST OF TASK Research Data Base 1-2 hours $6.92-$16.73/hr $6.92-$33.46 Define Computer Program 1-2 hours $150.00 hr $150.00-$300.00 (computer time) Retrieve Information 30 minutes $150.00 hr $75.00 (computer time) TOTAL COST $231.92-$408.46 Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations The issue for determination is whether Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) by refusing to provide the Union with the home addresses of new employees. The General Counsel claims that the home addresses are reasonably available, are necessary to enable the Union to carry out its representational obligations of providing new employees a Union orientation package, and there are no effective alternative means of communicating with the 160 new employees. Respondent defends on the basis that it complied with the Union's request, as the Union requested home addresses or office symbols, and it offered the Union the office symbols. Respondent also contends that the home addresses are not reasonably available; the Union seeks the home addresses for purposes not embraced by section 7114(b)(4); and the Union has at its disposal effective means of communicating with the new bargaining unit members. As pertinent here, section 7114(b)(4) /12/ of the Statute requires an agency, upon request, to furnish an exclusive representative with data "which is reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining." The home addresses of employees are "reasonably available." They are contained in official personnel files and approximately 80% of the files are readily available in a master file area. The remainder are in working areas of the personnel office. If disclosure were required, management would presumably compile the information from the files rather than use the more expensive computer retrieval method. Since time is not of the essence, the record reflects that Respondent could use lower graded employees for the manual file retrieval for a cost in the $25-$85 range. It is well established that under section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute a Union is entitled to receive information necessary to the performance of its representational responsibilities, including negotiations, administration of the collective bargaining agreement, and the effective evaluation and processing of grievances. Here the Union wanted to provide new employees with a Union orientation package, including a copy of the collective bargaining agreement. In my view, administration of the collective bargaining agreement includes advising unit employees of their rights under the agreement. Sending new employees a copy of the agreement is a most complete way of informing them of their rights. Thus, their addresses were relevant to the Union's carrying out of its representational obligations. Therefore, the Union was seeking the information for a purpose embraced by section 7114(b)(4). However, since furnishing the home addresses of employees impinges to some degree on the personal privacy of employees, it is necessary to determine whether the Union has other effective means of communicating with the new employees. Cf. Internal Revenue Service, Office of the District Director, Jacksonville District, Jacksonville, Florida, 2 A/SLMR 214, affirmed FLRC No. 72A-50, 2 FLRC 106 (1974). While I agree with the General Counsel that most of the other means available to the Union are ineffective for the intended purpose, the record reflects that Respondent either has, or is willing to, furnish the Union the correct business addresses of the new employees. Although the Union can not use Respondent's internal mailing system by itself and on a cost-free basis, it can still have access to the system by addressing mail to an employee at his business address or office symbol, paying the necessary U.S postage, and depositing it in the U.S. mail. The U.S. Postal Service will ultimately transfer the mail to Respondent, and it will be delivered to the employee through Respondent's internal mailing system. The General Counsel argues that it is necessary to send the mail to an employee's home address in order to preserve its confidentiality and so as not to disrupt the employee's work. There would be no appreciable difference in terms of confidentiality between sending sealed envelopes through the U.S. Postal Service for delivery to an employee's home address and sending sealed envelopes through the U.S. Postal Service for ultimate delivery by Respondent's internal mailing system to an office address. Considering the large number of employees at the base, there is no basis for concluding that the "several occasions" of personal mail being opened by secretaries were extensive or other than isolated occurrences or honest mistakes. It also could hardly be expected that the contents of a mailing to 160 new employees, a significant percentage of whom presumably do not belong to the Union, would remain confidential. With respect to possible disruption of work by mailings to the office, there is no indication that management would consider the receipt and review of Union orientation packages by employees to be disruptive in these circumstances. The Union would be in a good position to meet any such objection if it took place considering the alternatives and the fact that Respondent has pointed to this method as "without doubt the most effective alternative means of communication available to the Union" (Respondent's Brief, p. 20). In light of the existence of the foregoing effective means of communication with new employees for the purpose outline by the Union, it has not been established that a list of the home addresses of new employees is "necessary for a full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining." Accordingly, it is recommended that the Authority issue the following Order pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Section 2429.29: ORDER It is hereby Ordered that the Complaint in Case No. 5-CA-40232 be, and it hereby is, DISMISSED. /s/ GARVIN LEE OLIVER /s/ Administrative Law Judge Dated: April 9, 1985 Washington, D.C. --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- (1) Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. Section 552a (1982). (2) When the Authority decided, for reasons discussed more fully in the decision on remand in FHAFO, to review the entire issue of the release of employees' names and home addresses and invited agencies, unions, and interested persons to submit amicus briefs addressing the issue, this case was one of those listed as being under consideration. While the parties in this case did not submit amicus briefs, the Department of the Air Force and the National Association of Government Employees did file amicus briefs outlining their positions. (3) Article XXIII, Section 12 of the collective bargaining agreement provides: The Union will be permitted to have a maximum of one (1) representative present during new employee orientations. The Employer will recognize the Union representative present and agrees to cover the major features of Title VII. The Union may distribute its own orientation package, including a copy of the labor agreement and the representative may be called on to answer questions directed to him/her. (Joint Ex. 5). (4) The two buildings which make up the "complex", Headquarters MAC and Headquarters AFCC, are not connected, but are separated by two or three blocks and a four-lane highway (Tr. 117). (5) Respondent did not provide an estimate regarding the number of bargaining unit employees working in the two-building complex. Respondent estimated that 2500 of 3000 civilian employees work in a somewhat larger central area, leaving 500 civilian employees working in non-centralized areas throughout the base (Tr. 103-104). (6) Article XIII, Section 13 provides: The Employer agrees to provide reserved space on Official Bulletin Boards, 18"X22", for the posting of Union Notices and similar informational material. Upon written request from the Union, the Employer will also provide reserved space on such other bulletin boards which the Employer routinely uses to post notices and other information to bargaining unit employees regarding personnel policies, practices and other matters affecting working conditions. The Union agrees that literature posted or distributed must not violate any law, the security of the bases, or contain scurrilous or libelous material. In addition, the posting or distribution of material relating to partisan political matters or material which reflects unfairly upon the integrity or motives of any individual, another employee organization or upon the Federal Government will not be permitted. All costs incident to reproduction, preparation, and distribution of Union material shall be borne by the Union. (7) Article XIII, Section 16 provides: The Employer agrees that the Union may use the Towncrier section of the base newspaper and the Notice Section of the Base Bulletin to announce general membership meetings and events: such as, picnics, retirements, or Christmas parties. It is agreed that the Union shall be solely responsible for the content and accuracy of such announcements. (8) Article XXIII, Section 3 provides: The Employer agrees to permit the officers and representatives of the Union to utilize intra-base telephone facilities. Section 10 provides: Free rent will be provided the Union. (9) Article VI, Section 13 provides: The Employer shall permit the union to distribute informational literature, including Union newspapers, information on membership in the Union and benefits provided by the Union, in designated locations, where unit employees are assigned, within the buildings throughout Scott Air Force Base. The Union agrees that it shall not distribute any libelous or scurrilous material or violate any law, applicable regulations or other provisions of this Agreement in exercising any right under this section. It is agreed by the Union that any material distributed in accordance with this section shall be made by employees during their nonwork time and said distibution shall not interfere with work operation. (10) Article XXIII, Section 7 provides: A listing, including the names, grades, series and organizational element of each bargaining unit employee shall be provided the Union once every twelve months. Such provision shall be based on a specific written request from the Union to the Central Civilian Personnel Office. (11) Article VI, Section 1 provides, in part: The employer agrees to recognize the officers of the Union and all stewards duly designated by the Union. The number of stewards shall be the number reasonably required in order to assure that each employee is properly represented, except that no more than one steward shall be assigned per shift to a work area. (12) Section 7114(b)(4) provides that the "duty of an agency and an exclusive representative to negotiate in good faith shall include the obligation -- (4) in the case of an agency, to furnish to the exclusive representative involved, or its authorized representative, upon request and, to the extent not prohibited by law, data -- (A) which is normally maintained by the agency in the regular course of business; (B) which is reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining; and (C) which does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining(.)"