40:0492(46)CA - - Naval Hospital, San Diego, CA and AFGE - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v40 p492
[ v40 p492 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
40 FLRA No. 46
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 Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs with the Authority.
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 furnish the Charging Party (the Union) with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1214 (the Local).
For the following reasons, we find that the Respondent committed the unfair labor practice as alleged.
The Local is the exclusive representative of a unit of employees employed by the Respondent. On August 3, 1989, the Union, on behalf of the Local, requested the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees. By letter dated September 5, 1989, the Respondent denied the Union's request.
The parties stipulated that, within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, the requested names and home addresses are normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business, are reasonably available, and do not constitute guidance, counsel or training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
The Respondent contends that the disclosure of the employees' home addresses is prohibited by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, and that the information requested has not been established to be necessary, within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, for discharge of the Union's representational responsibilities.
The Respondent asserts that release of the requested information is not a permitted routine use of that information under its regulations or under Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations. The Respondent claims that the system of records that will be used to supply the Union with the requested information "is a Navy system of records[,] not an OPM system[.]" Respondent's Brief at 1. The Respondent argues that "the routine use disclosure provisions of the applicable Navy system of records [do] not permit, but rather preclude, the disclosure of employee home addresses to unions, especially if there are alternative means of communications available to the labor organizations." Id.
The Respondent incorporated in, and attached to, its statement a brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit 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). In that brief, the Department of Justice argues that (1) employee home addresses may not be disclosed from official personnel files pursuant to the routine use notice published by OPM, and (2) the OPM routine use notice does not apply to "the Department of the Navy payroll system of records, which would probably be the most accurate source of employees' current home addresses." Attachment to Respondent's Brief at 44 n.38.
B. General Counsel
The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decisions in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St, Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986) (Farmers Home) are dispositive of the issue in the case. Noting that the Respondent concedes that the requested information is normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business, is reasonably available, and does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training provided for management officials or supervisors, within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4), the General Counsel asserts that the Respondent's admitted failure to furnish the Union with the requested information violates section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.
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 generally is 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 to the Union.
The parties stipulated that the requested information is normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business, is reasonably available to the Respondent, and