40:0365(37)CA - - Bureau of Public Debt and NTEU - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v40 p365
[ v40 p365 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
40 FLRA No. 37
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 complaint alleges that 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 exclusive representative with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees. For the reasons stated below, we find that the Respondent committed the unfair labor practice as alleged.
The National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 199 (the Union) is the exclusive representative of a unit of employees employed by the Respondent. By letter dated March 6, 1989, in conjunction with an upcoming labor-management relations committee meeting, the Union requested the Respondent to furnish it with the names and home addresses of the bargaining unit employees employed by the Respondent. Since on or about March 16, 1989, and continuing to date, the Respondent has refused to provide the Union with the requested information.
The parties stipulated that the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees are normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business, are reasonably available within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, and do not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
A. General Counsel
The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decision on remand in Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St, Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986) (Farmers Home), which was reaffirmed by the Authority in U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 37 FLRA 515 (1990) (Portsmouth Naval Shipyard), application for enforcement filed sub nom. FLRA v. U.S. Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, No. 90-1949 (1st Cir. Oct. 1, 1990), is dispositive of the issue in the case. In Farmers Home, the Authority concluded that section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute entitled the exclusive representative to the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees. The General Counsel contends that the Respondent's admitted failure to furnish the employees' names and home addresses constitutes a clear violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.
The Respondent disagrees with the Authority's rationale in its decision in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The Respondent contends that the release of employees' home addresses is prohibited by law, specifically, certain provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. The Respondent contends that the Authority's decision in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is contrary to, among other things, the plain language of the Statute and the Supreme Court's "controlling interpretation of the FOIA" in United States Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989). Respondent Brief at 5. The Respondent argues that the Authority should apply the reasoning in FLRA v. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service, 884 F.2d 1446 (D.C. Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 110 S. Ct. 863 (1990) (Department of the Treasury), where the court set aside Authority decisions ordering the "release of [F]ederal employees' home addresses [to their exclusive representatives] because i[t] found that 'release of that information would violate the Privacy Act.'" Brief at 2.
The Respondent claims that the home addresses of bargaining unit members may be disclosed to unions only if no adequate means exist for contacting the employees. The Respondent asserts that there are reasonable alternative means for the Union to communicate with bargaining unit employees.
The Union argues that the Authority's reasoning in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is correct and contends that the Respondent's reliance on Department of the Treasury to justify its refusal to provide the Union with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees should be rejected. The Union states that the Respondent's objections to furnishing the Union with the requested information are "substantially similar to the arguments considered and rejected by the Authority in Farmers Home . . . and its progeny." Union Brief at 10. Accordingly, the Union asserts the Authority should "follow its established precedent and determine that the [Respondent] has violated its duty to furnish the [U]nion with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees[.]" Id. at 10-11. The Union notes that Authority precedent establishes that it is not necessary to assess the availability of the alternative means of communication in this case.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
In Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, we reaffirmed Farmers Home and 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. We also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. We find that resolution of this case does not require consideration of whether alternative means of communication are available. Further, it is evident from the parties' stipulation that the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4)(A), (B), and (C) have been met in this case.
Accordingly, consistent with the parties' stipulation and based on the Authority's decision in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, we find that the Respondent was required to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit represented by the Union. Its refusal to do so 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 Bureau of the Public Debt shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 199, 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 Treasury Employees Union Chapter 199, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, 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 Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 199 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 Commissioner 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, Washington, D.C. Regional Office, Federal Labor Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order as to what steps have been taken to comply.