28:0569(69)CA - Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, CA and AFGE Local 2297 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
[ v28 p569 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA No. 69
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION OUTPATIENT CLINIC, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2297, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-60438
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority under section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's 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 Local 2297 (the Union) with the names and home addresses of employees of the Respondent who are members of the Union's bargaining unit. The Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs. For the reasons stated 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 other units, a unit of employees at the Veterans Administration (VA) Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, California. Local 2297 acts as AFGE's agent with respect to these employees. By letter dated June 10, 1986, the Union requested the Respondent to furnish the names and home addresses of all unit employees which by letter dated June 17, 1986, the Respondent refused to provide. [PAGE]
The parties have stipulated that this information is normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business; is reasonably available; and does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
The Respondent asserts that it need not provide the names and home addresses of unit employees to the Union under section 7114(b)(4) because this information is not necessary for the Union's collective bargaining functions under the Statute. In this regard, the Respondent argues that the Union has not explained its need for this information and that it does not need it because it has alternative means of communicating with the unit employees. The Respondent also asserts that release of this information to the Union is precluded under the Privacy Act. It argues that release of this information would adversely affect employees' privacy and that disclosure of this information is not covered by the "routine use" exception, which permits disclosure to labor organizations of information when relevant and necessary to their representational duties.
The General Counsel asserts that this case is controlled by our decision 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 the Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2779 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986). The General Counsel submits that the Respondent's refusal to provide the names and 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 section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. 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 [ v28 p2 ] that both exceptions to the Privacy Act's bar applied so as to authorize release of the information under the Privacy Act.
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 Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, California shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2297, AFL - CIO, the agent for the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees located at the VA Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, California.
(b) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of their 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, Local 2297, AFL - CIO, the agent for the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, furnish it with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees located at the VA Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, California.
(b) Post at the VA Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, California, copies of the attached Notice on forms furnished by the Authority. Upon receipt they will be signed by the Director of the VA Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, California, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter in conspicuous places, including [ v28 p3 ] all bulletin boards where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that the Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered.
(c) Notify the Regional Director, Region VIII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, within 30 days of the date of this Order, in writing as required under section 2423.30 of the Authority's Regulations, of the steps it has taken to comply.