28:0294(41)CA - HHS, SSA and AFGE Council 215 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA



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28:0294(41)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


28 FLRA No. 41

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

                    Respondent

          and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 215, AFL-CIO

                    Charging Party

Case No. 3-CA-70171

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 upon a stipulation entered into by the Respondent, the Charging Party and the General Counsel. The issue is whether 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, the exclusive representative of a unit of the Respondent's employees, with the names and home addresses of those employees as requested by the Union.

II. Facts

The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO (AFGE) is the exclusive representative of nationwide consolidated units of the Respondent's professional and nonprofessional employees. AFGE Council 215 (the Union) is the agent of AFGE for the purpose of representing bargaining unit employees at the Respondent's Office of Hearings and Appeals. By letter dated December 3, 1986, the Union requested that the Respondent furnish it with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees assigned to the Office of Hearings and Appeals. By letter dated December 12, 1986, the Respondent denied the request. The parties stipulated that the information requested by the Union is normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business, is [PAGE] reasonably available and necessary, and does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining.

III. Positions of the Parties

The Respondent contends that the release of home addresses of employees is prohibited by the Privacy Act and that the information is not relevant or necessary for the Union to carry out its representational duties. The Respondent disagrees with the Authority's Decision on Remand in 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 Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, 86-2579 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986), and requests that the Authority reconsider the decision. In this regard, the Respondent essentially contends that the Authority did not give sufficient weight to the magnitude of the employees' privacy interest in their home addresses and that the Union had adequate alternative methods of communicating with the employees.

The General Counsel essentially contends that the Authority's Decision on Remand in Farmers Home is dispositive of this case. Consequently, the General Counsel argues, the Respondent's admitted failure to furnish the requested names and home addresses constitutes a clear violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.

IV. Analysis and Conclusion

In our Decision and Order on Remand in Farmers Home, we concluded that the release of names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees to the exclusive representatives of those employees 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. Based on our Decision on Remand in Farmers Home, we reject the Respondent's assertions in this case and find that the Respondent was required to provide the information under section 7114(b)(4). Accordingly, we conclude that the Respondent's refusal to provide the Union with the requested [ v28 p2 ] information violated 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, the Department of Health and Human services, Social Security Administration shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 215, AFL - CIO, the agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the 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, Council 215, AFL - CIO, the agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the unit.

(b) Post at its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 215, 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 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. [ v28 p3 ] (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 3o days from the date of this Order as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith.

Issued, Washington, D.C., July 29, 1987.

Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman

Henry B. Frazier III, Member

Jean McKee, Member

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY [ v28 p4 ]

               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 or fail to furnish upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 215, AFL - CIO, the agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of our employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in t