30:0270(31)CA - VA, Washington, DC and VA Medical Center, Brockton Division, Brockton, MA and NAGE, SEIU -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
30 FLRA No. 31 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON, D.C. AND VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER BROCKTON DIVISION BROCKTON, MASSACHUSETTS Respondent and NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, SEIU, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 1-CA-70215
I. Statement of the Case
This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority under section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, based upon a stipulation of facts by the parties. 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 the National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-25, (NAGE) the designated agent of the Charging Party, the exclusive representative of a unit of the Respondent's employees, with the names and home addresses of those employees. For the reasons stated below, we find that the Respondent committed the unfair labor practices as alleged.
The Charging Party is the exclusive representative of a national consolidated unit of the Respondent's employees, including those in the Brockton Division, Brockton, Massachusetts. NAGE Local R1-25 is the agent of the Charging Party for the purpose of representing unit employees at the Brockton facility. By letter dated April 9, 1987, NAGE Local R1-25 requested that the Respondent provide it with the names [PAGE] and home addresses of those unit employees. By letter dated April 20, 1987, the Respondent denied the request. 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; and do 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 release of the home addresses of employees is prohibited by the Privacy Act. The Respondent further asserts that it did not commit an unfair labor practice because it was willing to meet with NAGE to explore alternative means for obtaining the information. The Respondent also argues that the requested information does not come within the framework of section 7114 (b) (4) of the Statute because it does not pertain to the negotiation of subjects within the scope of bargaining under the Statute.
The General Counsel contends that the Authority's Decision on Remand in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (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), is controlling in this case. Consequently, the General Counsel argues, the Respondent's failure to furnish the requested names and home addresses constitutes a failure to comply with section 7114(b)(4) and a 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 representative 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. We conclude that the Respondent was required to provide NAGE Local RI-25 with the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees under section 7114(b)(4). Accordingly, we further conclude [ v30 p2 ] that the Respondent's refusal to provide the requested information violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) 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, Washington, D.C. and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Brockton Division, Brockton, Massachusetts shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-25, the designated agent of the exclusive representative of certain 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 Association of Government Employees, Local R1-25, the designated 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