29:0072(8)CA - VA Medical Center, Leavenworth, KS and NFFE Local 1765 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA



[ v29 p72 ]
29:0072(8)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


29 FLRA No. 8

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL
CENTER, LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS

                    Respondent

             and

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1765

                    Charging Party

Case No. 7-CA-70391

DECISION AND ORDER

I. Decision

The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached decision in this case, finding that the Respondent had engaged in the unfair labor practices alleged in the complaint by refusing to furnish, upon request of the Charging Party, the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees. The Judge granted the General Counsel's motion for summary judgment and recommended that the Respondent be ordered to take appropriate remedial action. The Respondent filed exceptions to the Judge's decision and the General Counsel filed an opposition.

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of our Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute), we have reviewed the rulings of the Judge made at the hearing and find that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are affirmed. Upon consideration of the Judge's decision and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions and recommended Order.

II. Order

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1765, the agent for the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees [PAGE] located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas.

(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) Furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1765, the agent for the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, with the names and home addresses of all unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas.

(b) Post at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, 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 Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, 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 VII, 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., September 25, 1987.

Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman

Henry B. Frazier III, Member

Jean McKee, Member

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY [ v29 p2 ]

                   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 to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1765, the agent for the exclusive representative of certain of our employees, the names and home addresses of all unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas.

WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of their rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.

WE WILL furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1765, the agent for the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of certain of our employees, the names and home addresses of all unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas.

                             ______________________________
                                       (Activity)

Dated: _________________ By: ______________________________
                                (Signature)      (Title)

This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Region VII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 535 16th Street, Suite 310, Denver, Colorado 80202, and whose telephone number is: (303) 837-5224. [PAGE]

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
MEDICAL CENTER,
LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS

              Respondent

    and

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES,
LOCAL 1765

              Charging Party

Case No. 7-CA-70391

Nicholas J. LoBurgio, Esquire
         For the General Counsel

John A. Bell, Esquire
         For the Respondent

Before:  BURTON S. STERNBURG
         Administrative Law Judge

DECISION

Statement of the Case

This is a proceeding under the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C. Section 7101, et seq. and the Rules and Regulations issued thereunder.

Pursuant to an amended charge first filed on March 11, 1987, by Local 1765, National Federation of Federal Employees, (hereinafter called the Union or Local 1765), a Complaint and Notice of Hearing was issued on May 29, 1987, by the Regional Director for Region VII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Denver, Colorado. The Complaint alleges that the Veterans Administration medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, (hereinafter called Respondent), violated Sections 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations statute (hereinafter called the Statute), by failing and refusing to furnish to the Union the names and home addresses of bargaining unit [PAGE] members employed in the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas facility.

On June 17, 1987, Respondent filed an Answer wherein it denied the commission of any unfair labor practices but admitted all the material factual allegations of the Complaint.

On June 14, 1987, Counsel for the General Counsel filed with the Regional Director for Regional VII a Motion For Summary Judgment along with a "Brief and Memorandum of Points and Authorities In Support of the Motion". On the same date, the Regional Director for Region VII, pursuant to Section 2423.22(b)(1) of the Federal Labor Relations Authority's Rules and Regulations, transferred the General Counsel's Motion for Summary Judgment to the Chief Administrative Law Judge for Decision. The matter was subsequently assigned to the undersigned Administrative Law Judge for decision on the Motion for Summary Judgment. On August 3, 1967, Counsel for the Respondent filed an "Answer To Motion For Summary Judgment" and a "Brief And Memorandum Of Points And Authorities In Opposition To The Motion For Summary Judgment".

Having read the Complaint and Respondent's Answer thereto, as well as the respective motions and briefs in support thereof, I am convinced, based primarily upon the Federal Labor Relations Authority's decision in Farmers Home Administration, Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101, which I an constrained to follow, that a hearing in the instant matter is not necessary since there is no material fact in dispute.

Accordingly, upon the basis of the above described record, and after consideration of the parties briefs, I make the following findings of fact, conclusions and recommendations.

Findings of Fact

1. At all times material herein, the Union is, and has been, a labor organization within the meaning of 5 USC 7103(a)(4).

2. At all times material herein, Respondent is, and has been, an Agency within the meaning of 5 USC 7103(a)(3).

3(a). At all times material herein, the Council of Veterans Administration Locals, National Federation of [ v29 p2 ] Federal Employees, Independent, (herein called NFFE), has been certified as the exclusive representative of a national consolidated unit consisting of, among other units, the following unit:

INCLUDED: All non-supervisory professional employees, and Department of Medicine and Surgery professional employees, employed at the Veterans Administration Center, Wadsworth (sic Leavenworth), Kansas.

(b). The unit described in paragraph 3(a) above, includes employees located at Respondent's facilities in Leavenworth, Kansas.

4. As of January 12, 1983, and continuing to the present, Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C. and NFFE have been parties to a national collective bargaining agreement covering the employees described in paragraph 3, above.

5. At all times material herein, the Union has been an affiliate and agent of NFFE, the exclusive representative of the employees described in paragraph 3(a), above.

6. At all times material herein, William Robbins, herein Robbins, occupied the position of Personnel Officer at Respondent's facility in Leavenworth, Kansas, and was a management official or supervisor within the meaning of 5 USC 7103(a)(10) and/or (11), and an agent of Respondent.

7(a). On or about January 19, 1987, in writing, the Union requested Respondent to furnish both the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees represented by the Union. 1

(b) The information requested in paragraph 7(a) above, is normally maintained by Respondent in the regular course of business.

(c) The information requested in paragraph 7(a), above, is reasonably available. [ v29 p3 ]

(d) The information requested in paragraph 7(a), above, does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training provided for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining.

8. On or about January 27, 1987, and at all times since, Respondent, through Robbins at Respondent'S Leavenworth, Kansas facility, has failed and refused to furnish the Union with the home addresses requested in paragraph 7(a), above. 2

Discussion and Conclusions

The General Counsel takes the position that the Authority's decision in Farmers Home Administration, Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, supra, is dispositive of the matter and that summary judgment in its favor is in order.

Respondent on the other hand takes the position that the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, prohibits the release of the home addresses of the bargaining unit employees. Respondent's Counsel further contends that there has been no showing that the home addresses are necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining. In support of this latter position Respondent points out that the Union possesses alternative means of communication with the unit employees.

In agreement with the General Counsel I find that the Authority's decision in Farmers Home Administration, Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, supra, is dispositive of all Respondent's contentions and/or defenses. Thus, the Authority held that release of the names and home addresses of unit employees is not prohibited by the Privacy Act, that regardless of the existence of alternative means of communication the names and home addresses of unit employees should be supplied to the Union on request, and, finally, that the [ v29 p4 ] exclusive representative need not offer any explanation as to the reasons it seeks such information since the Union's need "is so apparent and essentially related to the nature of exclusive representation itself. . .".

To the extent that Respondent takes the position that there has been no showing that the Union needed the information for collective bargaining purposes, sufficeth to say that the Authority has, as noted above, found such information to be so essentially related to the nature of exclusive representation that no showing of necessity need be made. Finally, although the Respondent has made the names of the bargaining unit employees available, it is obvious that the Complaint is predicated on Respondent's admitted failure to also make their home addresses available.

Accordingly, in view of the foregoing, and based upon the Authority's holdings set forth above, and since the Union's request meets all the requirements of Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, I find that Respondent's refusal to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees constituted a violation of Sections 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute. In such circumstances, I hereby grant the General Counsel's Motion for Summary Judgment.

Having found that Respondent violated the Statute by refusing to supply the Union with the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees, it is hereby recommended that the Authority adopt the following order designed to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute.

ORDER

Pursuant to Section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations Authority's Rules and Regulations and Section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C., Section 7118, it is ordered that the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request to Local 1765, National Federation of Federal Employees, the exclusive representative of its employees, the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees employed at the Veterans Administrative Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas. [ v29 p5 ]

(b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining or coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Statute.

2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute:

(a) Furnish the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees as requested by Local 1765, National Federation of Federal Employees.

(b) Post at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, 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 a responsible official of the Veterans Administration Medical Center 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.