28:0743(93)CA - VA Medical Center, Prescott, AZ and AFGE Local 2401 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA No. 93 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, PRESCOTT, ARIZONA Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2401, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-70232
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 complaint alleges that the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Prescott, Arizona (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 2401, AFL - CIO (the Charging Party), with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Prescott, Arizona.
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO (the Union) is the exclusive representative of a nationwide unit of employees of the Veterans Administration which includes employees at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Prescott, Arizona. The Union is the national parent body of the Charging Party. By letter dated December 31, 1986, the Charging Party requested that the Respondent furnish it with necessary and relevant information consisting of the names and home addresses of unit employees at the Prescott, Arizona facility. By letter dated January 9, 1987, the Respondent refused to furnish the Charging Party with the information requested. [PAGE]
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; are necessary to full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining; and do not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
A. The Respondent
The Respondent contends that the names and home addresses of the unit employees are protected from disclosure to the Union by the Privacy Act exemption of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which prohibits disclosure of information in government records "which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6). The Respondent also argues that the Office of Personnel Management's "routine use" notice and the Privacy Act do not provide for the release of the unit employees' names and home addresses. The Respondent cites Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) Supplement 711-1, Appendix C, which it contends prohibits the release of the names and home addresses requested in this case. Finally, the Respondent asserts that the employees' names and home addresses are not "data" under section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute and are not "necessary" within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) in light of the reasonable alternative means of obtaining the information available to the Charging Party.
B. The General Counsel
The General Counsel argues that 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, No. 86-2579 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986), in which the Authority concluded that section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute entitled the exclusive representative to the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit, is dispositive of the issue in this case. The General Counsel contends that the Respondent's admitted failure to furnish the employees' names and home addresses constitutes a clear violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute. [ v28 p2 ]
IV. Analysis and Conclusion
In our Decision and Order on Remand in Farmers Home, 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. Further, from the parties' stipulation, it is evident that the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4)(A), (B), and (C) have been met in this case.
The arguments made by the Respondent in this case are essentially the same arguments asserted by the agency in Farmers Home. As to the Respondent's reliance on FPM Supplement 711-1, Appendix C, that Appendix was deleted, along with the entire supplement, on May 16, 1986. Essential material from the supplement was updated and incorporated into FPM Chapter 711. The revised Chapter does not contain a statement similar to that which the Respondent states was contained in Appendix C and upon which the Respondent relies. Based on the parties' stipulation and our decision on remand in Farmers Home, 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 (6) 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, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Prescott, Arizona, shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2401, AFL - CIO, the local representative of the exclusive representative of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.
(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. [ v28 p 3 ]
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 2401, AFL - CIO, the local representative of the exclusive representative of its employees, the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees of the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Prescott, Arizona.
(b) Post at the Veterans Administration Medical center, Prescott, Arizona, 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 in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted, and shall be maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter. 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, Region VIII, 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., August 27. 1987.
Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman Henry B. Frazier III, Member Jean McKee, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
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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: