27:0020(4)CA - HHS, SSA and AFGE -- 1987 FLRAdec CA



[ v27 p20 ]
27:0020(4)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 27 FLRA No. 4
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND 
 HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL 
 SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF 
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 3-CA-60554
 
                            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 home addresses of all bargaining unit employees
 assigned to the Respondent's field operations.  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
 
    The Union is the exclusive representative of separate nationwide
 consolidated units of the Respondent's nonprofessional and professional
 employees.  By letter dated August 1, 1986, the Union requested the
 Respondent to furnish the home addresses of unit employees under the
 jurisdiction of the National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals, and
 explained why it considered direct mail communication the most effective
 way to fulfill the duty to represent the employees.  It also listed four
 issues related to its duty to represent employees which it intended to
 address in such communication. By letter of August 25, 1986, the
 Respondent declined to furnish the list of home addresses of unit
 employees indicating that the Union has "various media available for
 communicating with employees," and that the Activity, Social Security
 Administration, "has denied similar AFGE request," and that it "views
 the furnishing of employee names and addresses . . . to be a violation
 of the Privacy Act."
 
    The parties agree that the information sought is maintained in a
 "system of records" as that phrase is defined and governed by the
 Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552(a)), and is retrievable from this system of
 records by use of a personal identifier (employee names).
 
                      III.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The General Counsel asserts that our Decision on Remand in Farmers
 Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101
 (October 31, 1986) (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) is dispositive of this case.
 
    The Respondent takes issue with our decision on remand in FHAFO,
 arguing that disclosure of home addresses of employees is prohibited by
 law and that in any event in this case the General Counsel failed to
 establish that the information was necessary, relevant and readily
 available as required by section 7114(b) of the Statute.
 
                       IV.  Analysis and Conclusions
 
    In 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 obligations 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.
 
    Based upon our decision in FHAFO and for the reasons stated more
 fully in that decision, we reject the Respondent's assertion that
 disclosure of the information is prohibited by law.  In its exceptions,
 the Respondent noted that in our decision in FHAFO, we did not address
 the guidance to agencies contained in the Federal Personnel Manual (FPM)
 concerning the "routine use" Privacy Act exception to disclosure.  The
 Respondent argues here that FPM Supplement 711-1, Appendix C shows that
 disclosure of employees' home addresses to a union has never been
 considered by the Civil Service Commission or the Office of Personnel
 Management to be a routine use under the Privacy Act.  However, on May
 12, 1986, OPM deleted FPM Supplement 711-1 containing Appendix C.  FPM
 Supplement 711-1, Labor-Management Relations, Installment 19 (May 12,
 1986) (Addendum C).  The instruction from OPM indicated essentially that
 material from the supplement had been updated and incorporated in FPM
 Chapter 711.  Ibid.  The revised FPM Chapter 711 did not, however,
 incorporate the former Appendix C guidance, nor did it provide new
 guidance relating to the route use.  Therefore, there is no need for us
 to consider such guidance on routine use because it is no longer in
 effect.
 
    We also reject the Respondent's assertion that the information was
 not shown to be necessary for the Union to meet its obligations under
 the Statute.  Although we concluded in FHAFO that this information
 generally is necessary for unions to meet their obligations even if
 alternative means of communication are available, the Union in this case
 explained in its request for the information that it needed to
 correspond with unit employees directly and why alternative means of
 communication would be less effective.  Moreover, the Union listed four
 issues related to address in such communications.  Finally, we reject
 the Respondent's argument that the record fails to prove that the home
 addresses are reasonably available.  The Respondent stipulated that the
 information is maintained in systems of records and is retrievable by
 use of employee names.
 
    Based on the foregoing, we conclude that by refusing to furnish the
 home addresses of unit employees to the Union, the Respondent failed to
 comply with section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, and violated section
 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8).
 
                                   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, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
          (a) Refusing to furnish, upon request by the American
       Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive
       representative of units of its employees, the names and home
       addresses of the employees in the units it represents under the
       jurisdiction of the National Council of SSA Field Operations
       Locals.
 
          (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, the exclusive representative of units of its
       employees, furnish it with the names and home addresses of all
       employees in the bargaining units it represents under the
       jurisdiction of the National Council of SSA Field Operations
       Locals.
 
          (b) Post at all its facilities where bargaining unit employees
       represented by the American Federation of Government Employees,
       AFL-CIO, 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 Commissioner of Social
       Security, 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 III, 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., May 11, 1987.
 
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun
                                       Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee
                                       Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  AS ORDERED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND TO
 THE
 EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS STATUTE
 
                      WE NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT refuse to furnish, upon request by the American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive
 representative of units of our employees, the names and home addresses
 of the employees in the bargaining units it represents.
 
    WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfe