38:0003(1)CA - NAVY PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD BREMERTON, WASHINGTON and IFPTE, LOCAL 12 AFL-CIO, LODGE 2261 -- 1990 FLRAdec CA


[ v38 p03 ]
38:0003(1)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


38 FLRA No. 1

	FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
	WASHINGTON, D.C.

	     

	U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
	PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD
	BREMERTON, WASHINGTON
	(Respondent)

	and

	INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL
	AND TECHNICAL ENGINEERS
	LOCAL 12
	AFL-CIO
	(Charging Party)

	                                       9-CA-90215

	                                   DECISION AND ORDER

                                   	November 1, 1990

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I.	Statement of the Case

	This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority in accordance 
with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, based 
on a stipulation of facts by the parties, who have agreed that no 
material issue of fact exists.  The General Counsel and the Respondent 
filed briefs with the Authority.

	The complaint alleges that the Respondent failed to comply with 
section 7114(b)(4) of the Federal Service Labor-Management 
Relations Statute (the Statute) in violation of section 
7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute by refusing to furnish 
certain information requested by the Union.

	For the following reasons, we find that the Respondent violated 
section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.

II.	Facts

	The Union is the exclusive representative of a professional 
	and non-professional unit of certain technical employees of the 
	Respondent.  By memorandum dated December 12, 1988, the Respondent's 
	Industrial Relations Office forwarded to the Union a proposed 
	instruction covering injury/illness compensation, NAVSHIPYDPUGET 
	Instruction 12810.2B.  By letter dated January 4, 1989, the 
	Union requested to bargain on the proposed instruction and requested 
	copies of Chapter 810 of the Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) and 
	the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA).  Both documents 
	were specifically referenced in the proposed instruction.  The 
	Union requested the information in order to fully understand the 
	proposed instruction and/or to prepare bargaining proposals.

	By letter dated January 6, 1989, the Respondent's head of employee 
	management relations denied the Union's request for information.  
	Since that date the Respondent has refused to provide the 
	requested information.

	The Respondent admitted that:  (1) it maintains Chapter 810 of 
the FPM and the FECA in the regular course of business and 
they are reasonably available; (2) Chapter 810 of the FPM, 
but not the FECA, is necessary for full and proper discussion, 
understanding and negotiation of subjects within the scope of 
collective bargaining; and (3) Chapter 810 of the FPM and the 
FECA do not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training 
provided to management officials or supervisors relating to 
collective bargaining.

	Notwithstanding the above, the Respondent contended that it 
had no duty to provide the Union with the requested information 
as it is public information which the Union could obtain from 
other sources.  The Respondent had advised the Union of its 
position regarding such public documents, including a portion 
of the FPM, in a letter from its labor relations specialist 
on December 8, 1988.  In that letter, which was in response to 
a prior Union request for information, the Respondent advised 
the Union that the FPM was available for sale from the 
Superintendent of Documents and may be available in some of 
the larger public libraries.  The Respondent also stated that 
the Union could review the FPM in its labor relations office, 
but that it would not make the Union a copy.

III.	Positions of the Parties

	A.	General Counsel

	The General Counsel asserts that it is well settled that section 
7114(b)(4) of the Statute obligates an agency to provide a union 
with requested information that is relevant and necessary to the 
performance of its representational functions, including 
information needed in preparation for negotiations, if the 
information is regularly maintained by the agency in the regular 
course of business.  Here, the General Counsel argues, the 
Respondent agreed that the requested information was relevant and 
necessary to the Union to prepare for negotiations.  Moreover, 
the Respondent conceded that the information was regularly 
maintained in the regular course of business, was reasonably 
available and was not guidance or training related to collective 
bargaining.  Accordingly, the General Counsel contends the 
Respondent's continuing failure and refusal to provide the 
requested information is violative of the Statute.

	The General Counsel contends that the Respondent's sole basis for 
refusing to provide the requested information--that the documents, 
while maintained by it, are public documents which the Union could 
obtain through public sources--should be rejected.  The General 
Counsel argues that the Statute requires an agency to provide 
documents which it regularly maintains and which are otherwise 
needed by the union for collective bargaining purposes.  It does 
not require a union to seek such relevant and necessary information 
from alternative sources.  In support of its position, the General 
Counsel cites to Authority decisions in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
Kansas City District, Kansas City Missouri, 22 FLRA 667 (1986) and 
U.S. Army Reserve Components Personnel and Administrative Center, 
St. Louis, Missouri, 26 FLRA 19 (1987).

	B.	Respondent

	The Respondent contends that the material requested is not "data" 
within the meaning of the Statute.  The Respondent argues that 
Congress did not intend for the Government to provide labor 
organizations with subscription reference material of general 
applicability such as the FPM, or a copy of a law, such as the FECA, 
which is not produced or compiled by the employer in the regular 
course of business and which is readily available from primary 
sources other than the agency itself.  The Respondent further 
states  that the Union was advised in its December 8, 1988 letter 
that the Union could review similar requested documents in the 
labor relations office, but that it would not be provided copies.

	The Respondent asserts that the Union should either:  (1) purchase 
the requested documents in the same manner as the Agency; 
(2) review the documents in the personnel office; or 
(3) attempt to obtain through negotiations that which the law 
does not mandate.  Respondent's Brief at 2.

	Accordingly, the Respondent requests that the complaint in this 
matter be dismissed.

IV.	Analysis and Conclusions

	We find that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) 
of the Statute by refusing to provide the Union with information to 
which it was entitled under section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute.

	Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute requires an agency to furnish a 
union, upon request, with data that:  (1) is normally maintained by 
the agency in the regular course of business; (2) is reasonably 
available and necessary for discussion, understanding, and negotiation 
of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining; and (3) does not 
constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided for management 
officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining.

	The Respondent stipulated that:  (1) it maintains Chapter 810 of the 
FPM and the FECA in the regular course of business and they are 
reasonably available; (2) Chapter 810 of the FPM, but not the FECA, 
is necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding and negotiation 
of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining; and (3) Chapter 810 
of the FPM and the FECA do not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or 
training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to 
collective bargaining.

	We find that FECA was necessary to the Union in order for it to fully 
and properly discuss, understand and negotiate over management's proposed 
instruction, NAVSHIPYDPUGET Instruction 12810.2B.  In this regard, FECA 
was specifically referenced in the proposed instruction as the controlling 
law in the areas covered by the proposed instruction.  The Union requested 
the information specifically to prepare for negotiations concerning the  
proposed management instruction.  Therefore, we find that such information 
was necessary in the performance of the Union's representational duties.

	Further, the Authority has held that there is nothing in the language of 
section 7114(b) or its legislative history that indicates that Congress 
intended a union's right to information under the provision to be 
dependent on whether the information is reasonably available from an 
alternative source.  U.S. Army Reserve Components Personnel and 
Administrative Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 26 FLRA 19, 27 (1987).  In 
addition, section 7114(b)(4) requires an agency to "furnish" information 
to the exclusive representative of its employees; merely allowing a union 
representative to look at information the union is entitled to for 
representational purposes does not discharge the agency's duty.  Veterans 
Administration and Veterans Administration Regional Office, Buffalo, New 
York, 28 FLRA 260, 266 (1987).  The Respondent does not contend, and it 
does not appear, that providing the information would be an undue burden 
so as to compel the conclusion that the information is not reasonably 
available.  Compare Department of Health and Human Services, Social 
Security Administration, 36 FLRA 943 (1990) (the respondent contended that 
the data requested was not reasonably available because of the burdensome 
nature of the request; Authority concluded that the data requested was 
reasonably available).

	Accordingly, we find that the information requested by the Union is data 
within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute and that the 
Respondent was obligated to furnish the Union with a copy of Chapter 810 
of the FPM and FECA.

V.	Order

	Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and 
section 7118 of the Statute, the Department of the Navy, Puget Sound Naval 
Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, shall:

	1.	Cease and desist from:

		(a)  Refusing to furnish, upon request of the International Federation of 
Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 12, AFL-CIO, the exclusive 
representative of certain of its employees, Chapter 810 of the Federal 
Personnel Manual and the Federal Employees Compensation Act.

		(b)  In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or 
coercing its employees in the exercise of 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 International Federation of Professional and Technical 
Engineers, Local 12, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of 
its employees, Chapter 810 of the Federal Personnel Manual and the Federal 
Employees Compensation Act.

		(b)  Post at its facilities at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, 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, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 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, 
in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order as to what steps have 
been taken to comply.



	                         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 International Federation 
of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 12, AFL-CIO, the exclusive 
representa