31:0850(60)CA - VA Medical Center, Sepulveda, CA and AFGE Local 3943 -- 1988 FLRAdec CA
[ v31 p850 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
31 FLRA No. 60 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, SEPULVEDA, CALIFORNIA Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 3943, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-70410
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 Veterans Administration Medical Center, Sepulveda, California (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 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3943, AFL - CIO (the Union) with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees. The Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs. 1 For the reasons stated below, we find that the Respondent committed the unfair labor practices as alleged. [PAGE]
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO (AFGE) is the exclusive representative of a unit composed of full-time and regularly scheduled part-time registered nurses. The Union is a constituent local of AFGE. By letter dated November 19, 1986, the Union requested that the Respondent furnish it with the names and home addresses of all unit employees. The Union requested the information pursuant to Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986) (Farmers Home), enforced in part and remanded sub non. 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 letter dated December 2, 1986, the Respondent refused to furnish the Union with the information requested on the basis that release of the information is prohibited by law.
On July 9, 1987, the General Counsel issued the unfair labor practice complaint in this case. Subsequently, by letter dated October 21, 1987, the Respondent notified the Union that although it could not provide the Union with the home addresses of unit employees because of privacy concerns, it intended to offer those employees the opportunity to provide the Union with their addresses if they wished. The letter to the Union also stated that the Respondent was "putting together some language to address this, and would like your input if you wish." Stipulation, Exhibit 1(g).
The parties stipulated that the names and home addresses of the employees: (1) are normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business; (2) are reasonably available in the Respondent's personnel and payroll files; and (3) do not constitute guidance, counsel, or training provided for management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
The Respondent contends that the release of the employees' home addresses is prohibited by law, specifically, the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The Respondent also contends that the Union has not disclosed why it needs the information or how it intends to use the information. The Respondent further maintains that the Union has alternative means to contact unit employees in order to [ v31 p2 ] obtain from them their home addresses. The Respondent also asserts that it invited the Union to jointly compose instructions to employees as to how to contact the Union with their home addresses, and that the Union refused the offer.
The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decision on remand in Farmers Home, in which the Authority concluded that section 114(b)(4) of the statute entitled the exclusive representative to the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit, is dispositive of the issue in this case. The General Counsel asserts that by refusing to give the Union the names and home addresses of unit employees, the Respondent violated section 7114(b)(4). According to the General Counsel, section 7114(b)(4) requires the agency to furnish the information, and does not give employees the choice as to whether or not to furnish their home addresses. The General Counsel contends that the Respondent's refusal to furnish the employees' home addresses violates section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.
IV. Analysis and Conclusion
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 also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. Further, from the parties' stipulation, it is evident that the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4)(A), (B), and (C) have been met in this case.
Based on the parties' stipulation and the Authority's decision on remand in Farmers Home, we find that the Respondent was require to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit. We also find that the Respondent's offer, stated in its letter of October 21, 1987, does not constitute compliance with the requirement of section 7114(b)(4) that an agency provide the requested information. The Respondent's failure to provide the requested information violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute. See United States Department of the Navy and Philadelphia Naval Shipyard v. FLRA, No. 87-3005 [ v31 p3 ] (3d. Cir. Mar. 2, 1988), enforcing Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 24 FLRA 37 (1986); U.S. Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois v. FLRA, No. 87-1143 (7th Cir. Jan. 27, 1988), affirming Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, 24 FLRA 226 (1986); Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration v. FLRA, 833 F.2d 1129 (4th Cir. 1987), petition for rehearing filed Jan. 8, 1988, affirming Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, 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).
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 Medical Center, Sepulveda, California shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3943, AFL - CIO, 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 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3943, AFL - CIO 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 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3943, AFL - CIO are located, copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such [ v31 p4 ] 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.
(c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region VIII, Federal Labor Relations Author