30:0212(25)CA - Air Force HQ, Chanute Technical Training Center, Chanute AFB, IL and NFFE Local 493 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
30 FLRA No. 25 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS, CHANUTE TECHNICAL TRAINING CENTER, CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS Respondent and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 493 Charging Party Case No. 5-CA-70082
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 Respondent filed exceptions to the Judge's Decision.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and 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 hereby affirmed. Upon consideration of the Judge's Decision and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions and recommended Order, as modified.
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 the Air Force, Headquarters, Chanute Technical Training Center, Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois shall: [PAGE]
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 493, the exclusive representative of an appropriate unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining 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 action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:
(a) Furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 493, the exclusive representative of an appropriate unit of its employees, with the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit.
(b) Post at all facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 493, 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 Commanding Officer, Department of the Air Force, Headquarters, Chanute Technical Training Center, Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois, 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 V, 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., November 27, 1987.
Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
Jean McKee, Member
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY [ v30 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 or fail to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 493, the exclusive representative of an appropriate unit of our employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.
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 493, the exclusive representative of an appropriate unit of our employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.
______________________________ (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 V, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1359-A, Chicago, Illinois 60604 and whose telephone number is: (312) 353-6306. [PAGE]
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, HEADQUARTERS, CHANUTE TECHNICAL TRAINING CENTER, CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS Respondent and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 493 Charging Party Case No. 5-CA-70082 Major Steven E. Sherwood For the Respondent Sharon A. Bauer, Esq. For the General Counsel Before: SALVATORE J. ARRIGO Administrative Law Judge
Statement of the Case
This case arose under the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C. 7101, et seq. (herein the Statute).
Upon an unfair labor practice charge having been filed by the captioned Charging Party (herein the Union) against the captioned Respondent, the General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (herein the Authority), by the Regional Director for Region V, issued a Complaint and Notice of Hearing alleging Respondent violated the Statute by failing and refusing, upon request, to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees. [PAGE]
A hearing on the Complaint was conducted in Champaign# Illinois at which all parties were represented and afforded full opportunity to adduce evidence, call, examine and cross-examine witnesses and argue orally. Briefs were filed by counsel for Respondent and counsel for the General Counsel and have been carefully considered.
Upon the entire record in this case, my observation of the witnesses and their demeanor and from my evaluation of the evidence, I make the following:
Findings of Fact
At all times material the Union has been the exclusive collective bargaining representative of all Respondent's appropriated fund employees serviced by the Central Civilian Personnel Office at Chanute Technical Training Center with various exceptions. The unit is comprised of approximately 870 employees who are supervised by approximately 500 supervisors.
On November 12, 1986 the Union requested, in writing, that Respondent supply it with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees. On December 9 Respondent declined to furnish the information stating it was Air Force policy that release of names and home addresses of employees would constitute a violation of the Privacy Act. By memorandum of December 10 the Union repeated its request stating it was the Union's duty to represent all unit employees and during contract negotiations, then in progress or about to commence, the Union wished to be able to inform employees of negotiation progress and obtain employee input. Respondent on December 11 again refused to provide the information based upon Air Force policy viewing the production of the data to be a violation of the Privacy Act.
The record reveals that the names and home or mailing addresses of each employee can be found in the employee's Official Personnel File (OPF) which contains the employee's initial employment application and is maintained by Respondent. The home address therein may not be current. Respondent also maintains a computerized Personnel Data System from which can be retrieved, inter alia, the names of all bargaining unit employees including the employee's organizational code. Further, Respondent maintains a computerized Civilian Payroll System which contains the mailing addresses of all employees. In addition, each of Respondent's supervisors at the facility maintains, a "971 file" on each employee which contains the employees home [ v30 p2 ] address. Testimony received at the hearing indicates that using a list of bargaining unit employees and manually obtaining the home or mailing addresses of those employees from the payroll records would take between 24 and 36 man-hours.
The record further reveals that with regard to communicating with unit employees, the parties collective bargaining agreement permits the Union to have bulletin boards at the facility and also makes available to the Union use of Respondent's internal mail system to disseminate information. The mail service provision however limits use of the system to those situations ". . . when the distribution will enhance morale, increase production, and/or improve Employer/Employee relations" and management retains the right to renegotiate the provision if use of the service becomes "overloaded". In addition, the Union has 27 stewards with which it can contact unit employees.
Discussion and Conclusions
The General Counsel, relying on the Authority's decision in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri 23 FLRA 788 (1986), contends Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute when it refused to supply the Union with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees. Respondent essentially contends the requirements of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute have not been met in that: Respondent is prohibited by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, from releasing the information; the data requested is not maintained by Respondent in a reasonably available form, and; the data is not necessary for the Union to carry out its representational duties.
Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute provides in relevant part:
"(b) the duty of an agency and an exclusive representative to negotiate in good faith under subsection (a) of this section shall include the obligation . . .
" (4) in the case of an agency, to furnish to the exclusive representative involved, or its authorized representative, upon request and, to the extent not prohibited by law, data-- [ v30 p3 ]
"(A) which is normally maintained by the agency in the regular course of business; (and)
"(B) which is reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining . . ."
In Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, supra, the Authority held: (1) the disclosure of the names and addresses of bargaining unit employees to the exclusive representative was not prohibited by the Privacy Act; (2) an agency's possession of Official Personnel Files wherein can be found employees' addresses satisfies the requirements of section 7114(b)(4)(A) and (B) of the Statute that such data to be normally maintained by the agency and reasonably available; and (3) such data was necessary under section 7114(b)(4)(B) for unions to meet their statutory obligation to represent the interests of all employees in the unit without discrimination as required by section 7114(a)(1) of the Statute, notwithstanding the existence of alternative means by which a union might communicate to unit employees. In subsequent decisions the Authority followed Farmers Home Administration in deciding numerous cases which involved substantially the same issues. Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 24 FLRA 37 (1986); Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 24 FLRA 43 (1986); Social Security Administration, Northeastern Program Service Center, 24 FLRA 108 (1986); Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, 24 FLRA 209 (1986); Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, 24 FLRA 226 (1986); Department of Health and Human Services, Region V, 26 FLRA 460 (1987); Air Force District of Washington, 26 FLRA 542 (1987); Departments of the Army and Air Force, Army and Air Force Exchange Service Headquarters, Dallas, Texas and Army and Air Force Exchange Service, McClellan Air Force Base, California, 26 FLRA 691 (1987), and 831 Combat Support Group (TAC), George Air Force Base, California, 28 FLRA No. 16
The facts presented herein and the arguments raised by Respondent are not significantly different from those considered by the Authority in Farmers Home Administration and cases which followed thereafter, supra. In view of the Authority's holdings in the above cases I conclude Respondent's defenses to its failure and refusal to provide [ v30 p4 ] the Union with the names and home addresses of unit employees as requested by the Union to be without merit. I further conclude Respondent was obligated under section 7114(b) of the Statute to furnish the Union with the names and addresses of unit employees and accord