26:0491(59)CA - HHS, SSA, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Region II and AFGE Local 1760 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA



[ v26 p491 ]
26:0491(59)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 
 26 FLRA No. 59
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND 
 HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY
 ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF HEARINGS 
 AND APPEALS, REGION II
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1760
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 2-CA-60465
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority in accordance
 with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, based
 on a stipulation of facts by the parties, who have agreed that no
 material issue of fact exists.  The Respondent and the General Counsel
 have filed briefs.
 
    The complaint, issued November 26, 1986, alleges that the Respondent
 violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to furnish
 the Union with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees
 it represents.  The request was made under section 7114(b)(4) of the
 Statute.  We conclude that the Respondent violated the Statute as
 alleged.
 
                          II.  Facts of the Case
 
    On March 10, 1986, the Union, which is the exclusive representative
 of a unit of the Respondent's employees, requested the names and home
 addresses of unit employees.  The Union sought the data under section
 7114(b)(4) of the Statute.  The Union stated that the information was
 necessary to solicit employees' views on a management program to
 redesign the disability review process, resource allocations and a
 modernization program.  On March 25, 1986, the Respondent supplied the
 names and office locations of unit employees but denied the request for
 home addresses, stating its "understanding that you are not entitled to
 the home addresses . . . under existing FLRA case law(.)" The Respondent
 suggested that the Union "discuss alternative means of accessibility" to
 unit employees with its labor relations coordinator.
 
    On July 5, the Union again requested the home addresses and asked
 that if the request were denied, the Respondent suggest specific
 alternative means of accessibility.  The Respondent replied on July 23,
 suggesting specific options.  Finally, on August 1, the Union reiterated
 its request and explained why the various options for contacting
 employees were inadequate substitutes.  The parties stipulate
 specifically that the information is maintained by the Respondent in the
 regular course of business, is reasonably available and necessary for
 full and proper discussion of subjects within the scope of collective
 bargaining, and is not guidance, advice, counsel or training for
 management officials or supervisors related to collective bargaining.
 
                      III.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The Respondent argues that disclosure of the home addresses of its
 employees is prohibited by law.  It asserts that the Freedom of
 Information Act exception to the Privacy Act does not apply because of
 the alleged substantial privacy interest involved and because the public
 interest in disclosure is not great.
 
    Although the Respondent stipulated that the information requested "is
 reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion,
 understanding and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective
 bargaining," (Stipulation 12(b)), the Respondent argues in its brief
 that the General Counsel failed to meet the burden of proving that
 disclosure of the data was relevant and necessary to the Union's duties
 in representing employees.  The Respondent argues that 13 provisions of
 the parties' National Agreement provide methods for the Union to
 communicate with unit employees.  The Respondent further argues that the
 Union should have acquired the right to home addresses through
 collective bargaining "if it suspected that these means were inadequate
 to permit it to effectively discharge its representational duties."
 (Respondent's brief at 15).
 
    The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decision on remand in
 Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA
 No. 101 (FHAFO), petition for review filed sub nom. U.S. Department of
 Agriculture and the Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St.
 Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2779 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986), settled
 the issue that disclosure of names and home addresses is not prohibited
 by law, and that the requirements of section 7114(b)(4) were met.
 
                       IV.  Analysis and Conclusions
 
    On October 31, 1986, we issued our Decision and Order on Remand in
 FHAFO.  We concluded that the release of names and home addresses of
 bargaining unit employees to exclusive representatives is not prohibited
 by law, is necessary for unions to fulfill their duties under the
 Statute, and meets all of the other requirements to furnish data to an
 exclusive representative 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.
 
             A.  Disclosure of Names and Home Addresses is Not
 
                Prohibited
 
    Based on our decision on remand in FHAFO, we reject the arguments of
 the Respondent that disclosure of home addresses of unit employees is
 prohibited by law.
 
         B.  The General Counsel Has Established that the Data is
 
                Necessary for the Union to Fulfill Its Obligations
 
    As to the Respondent's argument that the information was not
 necessary, the Respondent stipulated that the information sought was
 necessary.  But even assuming, for the sake of argument, that the
 Respondent did not mean what is suggested by the plain language of the
 stipulation, as we noted in FHAFO, we will not review the adequacy of
 alternative methods of communication on a case-by-case basis.  As we
 stated, communication which would be facilitated by release of home
 addresses is "fundamentally different from other communication through
 alternative means which are controlled in whole or in part by the
 agency." (Slip op. at 9).
 
                              C.  Conclusion
 
    In view of the foregoing, we conclude that the Respondent violated
 section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute by refusing to provide
 the Union with home addresses of bargaining unit employees.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute, the Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security
 Administration, and Social Security Administration, Office of Hearings
 and Appeals, Region II, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
          (a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of American Federation of
       Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive
       representative of a unit of its employees, the home addresses of
       all 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 American Federation of Government
       Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive representative of a
       unit of its employees, furnish it with the home addresses of
       employees in the bargaining unit it represents.
 
          (b) Post at its facilities in Region II where bargaining unit
       employees represented by American Federation of Government
       Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760 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
       the Regional Director of the Department of Health and Human
       Services, Region II, 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 II, 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. March 31, 1987.
 
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES AS ORDERED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE
 
                      WE NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT refuse to furnish, upon request of American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclu