31:0817(57)CA - Air Force, 323rd Flying Training Wing, Mather AFB, CA and AFGE Local 1692 -- 1988 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
31 FLRA No. 57 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE 323RD FLYING TRAINING WING MATHER AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1692, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 9-CA-70270
I. Statement of the Case
This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority under section 2429.1(a) of our Regulations, based on the parties' stipulation of facts. The complaint alleges that the Department of the Air Force, 323rd Flying Training Wing, Mather Air Force Base, California (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 1692, AFL - CIO (Union) with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees located at Mather Air Force Base, California, who are paid from appropriated funds. The Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs. For the reasons stated below, we find that the Respondent committed the unfair labor practices as alleged.
The Union is the exclusive representative of a unit of employees paid from appropriated funds and serviced by the Mather Air Force Base Central Civilian Personnel Office. The Union does not represent employees paid from nonappropriated funds. By letter dated November 28, 1986, the Union requested that the Respondent furnish it with "the names and [PAGE] home addresses of the bargaining unit employees; both appropriated and non-appropriated fund types." Stipulation, Exhibit 2. The union stated in its letter that its request was made pursuant to Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986) (Farmers Home), enforced in part and remanded sub nom. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2579 (8th Cir. Jan. 15, 1988), petitions for rehearing filed.
By letters dated December 8 and December 18, 1986, the Respondent acknowledged receipt of the Union's November 28 request. In its December 18 letter, the Respondent informed the Union that research into the "availability and . . . entitlement to (the requested home addresses was) taking longer than . . . anticipated." Additionally, the Respondent informed the Union that it would not be able to provide the Union with the "home addresses of the nonappropriated fund employees as they are represented by (the) National Association of Government Employees (NAGE)." Stipulation, Exhibit 4. By letter dated January 12, 1987, the Respondent refused to furnish the Union with the information requested.
The parties stipulated that the names and home addresses of appropriated fund unit employees: (1) were requested by the Union to carry out its representational duties and to administer a collective bargaining agreement between the parties; (2) do not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining; and (3) are maintained in the Respondent's appropriated fund payroll files. The parties further stipulated that the Respondent's personnel records identify employees by bargaining unit status.
III. Positions of the Parties
The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decision on remand in Farmers Home, 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, and subsequent cases relying on Farmers Home, are dispositive of the issue in this case. The General Counsel contends that the Respondent's [ v31 p2 ] failure to furnish the Union with its unit employees' home addresses violates section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.
The Respondent acknowledges that the Authority's decision in Farmers Home is dispositive, but urges us to reverse that decision. The Respondent argues that the release of the names and home addresses of employees is contrary to the Privacy Act, and maintains that it should not be required to release the information requested because the Union has alternative means of communicating with unit employees.
Further, the Respondent asserts that certain requirements of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute are not met here. Specifically, the Respondent argues that the records are not normally maintained in the regular course of business because: (1) names and home addresses are in payroll records which are not identified by bargaining unit status; and (2) there is no automated record at the Respondent's facility which contains the names, home addresses, and bargaining unit status of appropriated fund civilian employees. The Respondent concedes that a list could be established by creating a computer program or could be created manually. Because such a list would have to be created, the Respondent argues that the data are not "reasonably available" as required by section 7114(b)(4)(B).
IV. Analysis and Conclusion
The arguments made by the Respondent in this case are similar to the arguments asserted by the agency in Farmers Home. In the Authority's Decision and Order on Remand in Farmers Home, the Authority 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.
The Authority's decision in Farmers Home 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. [ v31 p3 ] The Authority also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available.