28:0047(12)CA - VA, Washington, DC and VA Medical Center, Iron Mountain, MI and AFGE Local 2280 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
[ v28 p47 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA No. 12
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON, D.C. AND VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, IRON MOUNTAIN, MICHIGAN Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2280, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 5-CA-70120
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority under section 2429.1(a) of our regulations based on the parties' stipulation of facts. 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 refusing to provide the Union with names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees. The Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs. For the reasons below, we find that the Respondent has committed the unfair labor practices as alleged.
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO (AFGE) is the exclusive representative of a consolidated unit which includes, among others, eligible professional and non-professional employees at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Iron Mountain, Michigan. Local 2280 (the Union) acts as AFGE's agent with respect to those employees. By letters dated November 21, 1986, and January 21, 1987, the Union requested the names and home addresses of all unit employees, which, on or about January 21, 1987, the Respondent declined to provide. [PAGE] The parties have stipulated that the information sought by the Union is normally maintained in the regular course of business, is reasonably available and does not constitute guidance, counsel or training for management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
A. The Respondent
As its brief the Respondent submitted and incorporated by reference the brief submitted by the Department of Justice in its appeal of the Authority's decision in two name and home address cases. Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101 (1986) (Farmers Home), petition for review filed sub nom. U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2579 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986); and Defense Mapping Agency, Washington, D.C. and Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, St. Louis. Missouri, 24 FLRA No. 5 (1986), petition for review filed sub nom. United States Department of Defense and Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, St. Louis, Missouri, No. 87-1024 (8th Cir. Jan. 8, 1987). Similarly, it submitted and incorporated an amicus brief filed with the Authority by the Office of Personnel Management. As is relevant to the facts in this case, the incorporated briefs assert, essentially, that disclosure of names and home addresses to the Union is not required by section 7114(b) of the Statute and that such disclosure is prohibited by law under the Privacy Act.
B. The General Counsel
The General Counsel argues that our decision in Farmers Home is controlling in this case. The General Counsel submits that the Respondent's refusal to provide the home addresses of bargaining unit employees violates section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute and constitutes the unfair labor practices alleged in the complaint.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
In our decision on remand in Farmers Home, we held that the release of the 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 of [ v28 p 2 ] section 7114(b)(4). Our decision in Farmers Home analyzed the two exceptions to the Privacy Act's bar to disclosure of personal information pertinent to the release of employees' names and home addresses: exception (b)(2) concerning the Freedom of Information Act, and exception (b)(3) relating to "routine use" of information. We found that both exceptions to the Privacy Act's bar applied so as to authorize release of the information.
We also found in Farmers Home that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. Further, from the parties' stipulation, it is evident that the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4)(A), (B) and (C) have been met. Consistent with our decision in Farmers Home, we therefore find that the Respondent was required to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of the employees in the bargaining unit. Its refusal to do so violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C. and Veterans Administration Medical Center, Iron Mountain, Michigan, shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2280, AFL - CIO, the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees located a