26:0699(86)CA AFGE, LOCAL 2031 VS VA MEDICAL CENTER -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
[ v26 p699 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
26 FLRA NO. 86 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON, D.C. AND VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, CINCINNATI, OHIO Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2031, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 5-CA-70058
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. Briefs have been filed by the Respondent and the General Counsel.
The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by failing and refusing to provide the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2031, AFL - CIO (the Charging Party), with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (the Activity), and at the Activity's Nursing Home in Fort Thomas, Kentucky (the Facility).
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO is the exclusive representative of a unit of Veterans Administration employees including those at the Activity and the Facility. The Charging Party is the agent for the exclusive representative with respect to the Respondent's employees at the Activity and Facility. By letter dated October 29, 1986, the Charging Party requested that the Respondent furnish it with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees at the Activity and the Facility. By letter dated December 8, 1986, the Respondent denied the request. The parties stipulated that the names and home addresses of the employees are normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business; are reasonably available; and do not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
The Respondent contends that disclosure of the home addresses of the bargaining unit employees to the Charging Party is prohibited by law. Additionally, the Respondent argues that the information is not relevant and necessary to the Charging Party's representational duties and that there are alternative means available to communicate with the employees. The Respondent further asserts that the parties' Master Agreement, which provides a procedure for obtaining information from an employee's personnel file, prohibits disclosure of employees' home addresses.
The General Counsel argues that this case is controlled by the Authority's decision on remand in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101 (1986) (FHAFO), petition for review filed sub. nom. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2779 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986), in which the Authority concluded, in circumstances virtually identical to this case, that section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute entitled the exclusive representative to the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit. The General Counsel contends that the Respondent's failure and refusal to provide the employees' names and home addresses to the Charging Party in this case constitute a refusal to comply with section 7114(b)(4) and a violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.
IV. Analysis and Conclusion
In our Decision and Order on Remand in FHAFO, we concluded that the release of the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees to their 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 established by section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. We also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternate means of communication are available. Based on our decision on remand in FHAFO, we conclude that the Respondent's refusal to provide the Charging Party with the names and home addresses sought in this case violates section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute. In so concluding, we find that the Respondent fails to establish that the parties' Master Agreement prohibits release of the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees to the Charging Party or that the Agreement constitutes a clear and unmistakable waiver of the exclusive representative's statutory right to the information. See U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Region VII, Kansas City, Missouri, 19 FLRA 555 (1985).
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the Authority and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, the Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C. and Veterans Administration Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2031, AFL - CIO, the agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit.
(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 actions in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:
(a) Furnish the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2031, AFL - CIO, the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees of the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Cincinnati, Ohio and Veterans Administration Nursing Home at Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
(b) Post at Medical Center and Nursing Home 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 Director of the Medical Center 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 ensure 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,