30:0599(74)CA - VA, VA Medical Center San Francisco, San Francisco, CA and NFFE Local 1 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA



[ v30 p599 ]
30:0599(74)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


30 FLRA No. 74

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL
CENTER SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

              Respondent

     and

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1, INDEPENDENT

              Charging Party

Case No. 9-CA-70206

DECISION AND ORDER

The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached decision in this case, finding that the Veterans Administration, Veterans Administration Medical Center San Francisco, San Francisco, California (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 to the Respondent's exceptions.

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 and find that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed. Upon consideration of the Judge's Decision, the exceptions, and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions, and recommended Order. See United States Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration v. FLRA, Nos. 87-3513(L), 87-3514, 87-3515 (4th Cir. Nov. 25, 1987), affirming Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, [PAGE] 24 FLRA 543 (1986); Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration and Social Security Administration Field Operations, New York Region, 24 FLRA 583 (1986); Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, 24 FLRA 600 (1986).

ORDER

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, Veterans Administration Medical Center San Francisco, San Francisco, California shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent, the exclusive representative of certain 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.

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 1, Independent with the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.

(b) Post at its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent 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 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. [ v30 p2 ]

(c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region IX, 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., December 24, 1987

Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman

Jean McKee, Member

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY [ v30 p3 ]

                    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 1, Independent, the exclusive representative of certain 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 1, Independent with 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 IX, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 901 Market Street, Suite 220, San Francisco, California 94103, and whose telephone number is: (415) 995-5000. [PAGE]

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL
  CENTER SAN FRANCISCO,
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

                Respondent

     and

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1, INDEPENDENT

               Charging Party

Case No. 9-CA-70206

Bruce J. Cogan, Esquire
          For the Respondent

R. Timothy Sheils, Esquire
          For the General Counsel, FLRA

Before: GARVIN LEE OLIVER
         Administrative Law Judge

DECISION

Statement of the Case

This decision concerns an unfair labor practice Complaint issued by the Regional Director, Region IX, Federal Labor Relations Authority, San Francisco, California, against the Veterans Administration, Veterans Administration Medical Center San Francisco, San Francisco, California (Respondent), based on a charge filed by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent (Charging Party or Union). The complaint alleged, in substance, that Respondent violated sections 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. 7101, et seq. (the Statute), by refusing to furnish the Union upon request with the names and home [PAGE] addresses of all bargaining unit employees represented by the Union pursuant to section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. 1

Respondent's answer admitted the jurisdictional allegations as to the Respondent, the Union, and the charge; that, on or about February 27, 1987, the Union, the agent of the exclusive representative of a unit of Respondent's employees, requested the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit at the VA Medical Center; and that, on or about March 19, 1987 an agent of Respondent denied the Union's request for the information. Respondent's answer also admitted that the names and home addresses 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. Accordingly, such matters are found to be established. [ v30 p2 ]

Respondent's answer denied that the information requested is necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining. Respondent also denied any violation of the Statute.

On or about August 6, 1987, Counsel for the General Counsel moved for summary judgment. The motion was transferred to the Chief Administrative Law Judge, pursuant to section 2423.22(b)(1) of the Regulations, and it was assigned to the undersigned for disposition pursuant to section 2423.19(k) and section 2423.22(b)(3) of the Regulations. Respondent served its opposition on August 27, 1987.

Positions of the Parties

A. The General Counsel

The General Counsel argues that this case is controlled by 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 the Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2579 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986). The General Counsel submits that the Respondent's admitted failure to provide the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees violates section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.

B. The Respondent

The Respondent contends that the Union did not provide the Medical Center with any reasons why it wanted the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees, and, thus, failed to establish that this information is necessary to the Union's representational responsibilities. Respondent also argues that the Union has extensive alternative means of communication with bargaining unit employees including the use of bulletin boards, presentations at employee orientation programs, distribution of Union material, and use of the Medical Center's telephone system. Additionally, the Respondent argues that the disclosure of the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees to the Union is prohibited by the Privacy Act and is not authorized by any exception relating to "routine use."

Discussion and Conclusions

In Farmers Home the Authority held that "the statutory requirement concerning sufficiency of a request under [ v30 p3 ] section 7114(b)(4) is satisfied for requests such as that involved here (for names and home addresses) when a general written request for the information is made. A precise explication of the reasons for the request involved here is not necessary." The Authority also emphasized that names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees should be provided whether or not alternative means of communication are available. The Authority stated, "We will not review the adequacy of alternative methods of communication on a case-by-case basis." In view of the Authority's Farmers Home decision it is concluded that facts as to the purpose of the request and whether or not alternative means of communication are available between unit employees and their exclusive representative are not material.

There being no dispute as to any material fact, it is concluded that the General Counsel is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law under the Authority's decision in Farmers Home. There the Authority gave full consideration to the many issues raised by requiring disclosure of names and home addresses of federal employees. The Authority analyzed the interplay of the Statute, the Privacy Act, and the Freedom of Information Act, and concluded that, "the release of names and home addresses to the Union is not prohibited by law, is necessary for the Union to fulfill its duties under the Statute, and meets the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4)." The Authority 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. The Authority found that both exceptions to the Privacy Act's bar applied so as to authorize release of the information under the Privacy Act.

Recently in 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 No. 85 (1987), application for enforcement filed sub nom. FLRA v. Department 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, No. 87-1201 (D.C. Cir. May 4, 1987), the Authority addressed the situation where employees' home addresses were not in a system of records governed by the Office of Personnel Management's routine use statement which allows disclosure to unions. The Authority found that this distinction does not affect the disclosure of the employees' home addresses [ v30 p4 ] to a union under exception (b)(2) of the Privacy Act. Thus, regardless of the particular character of the system of records containing the employees' home addresses, disclosure may still be made to a union. Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C. and Veterans Administration Medical Center, North Chicago, Illinois and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2107, AFL - CIO, 27 FLRA No. 42, 27 FLRA 310 (1987).

Inasmuch as the Union's request meets all of the requirements established by section 7114(b)(4), Respondent was required to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of the employees in the bargaining unit and its refusal to do so violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.

Based on the foregoing, the General Counsel's motion for summary judgment is granted. It is recommended that the Authority issue the following Order:

ORDER

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, Veterans Administration Medical Center San Francisco, San Francisco, California, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent the designated agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit 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 Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.

2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute.

(a) Furnish National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent [ v30 p5 ] the designated agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.

(b) Post at its facilities where said bargaining unit employees represented by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent 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 a senior official 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. 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 IX, Federal Labor Relations Authority, San Francisco, California in writing within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply.

GARVIN LEE OLIVER
Administrative Law Judge

Dated: November 9, 1987
       Washington, D.C.

[ v30 p6 ]

                            APPENDIX
                    NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
                          PURSUANT TO
                  A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE
               FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
           AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF
                  CHAPTER 71 OF TITLE 5 OF THE
                       UNITED STATES CODE
       FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE
              WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:

WE WILL NOT refuse to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent, the designated agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining 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 the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.

WE WILL furnish National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1, Independent, the designated agent of the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of our employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the bargaining unit it represents.

                             ______________________________
                                 (Agency or Activity)

Dated:___________________By:_______________________________
                                        (Signature)

[PAGE]

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 any of its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, Region IX, whose address is: 901 Market Street, Suite 220, San Francisco, California 94103, and whose telephone number is: (415) 995-5000. [ v30 p2 ]

FOOTNOTES

Footnote 1 Section 7114(b)(4) provides: (b) the duty of an agency and an exclusive representative to negotiate in good faith . . . 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-- (A) which is normally maintained by the agency in the regular course of business; (B) which is reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion understandi