American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3283 (Respondent/Union) and Lenda D. Spivey, an Individual (Charging Party)

[ v61 p426 ]

61 FLRA No. 80

AMERICAN FEDERATION
OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
LOCAL 3283
(Respondent/Union)

and

LENDA D. SPIVEY
AN INDIVIDUAL
(Charging Party)

CH-CO-04-0601

_____

DECISION

December 16, 2005

_____

Before the Authority: Dale Cabaniss, Chairman, and
Carol Waller Pope and Tony Armendariz, Members

I.      Statement of the Case

      This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on exceptions to the attached decision of the Administrative Law Judge filed by the General Counsel. The Respondent did not file an opposition to the General Counsel's exceptions.

      The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated § 7116(b)(1) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by failing to advise a group of grievants of the objective criteria used by the Respondent to determine which grievants would obtain a monetary award as part of the settlement of their grievances, and thereby violating the Respondent's duty of fair representation. The Judge found that by the Respondent's failure to file an answer to the complaint, the Respondent admitted the allegations in the complaint that it violated its duty of fair representation under § 7114(a)(1) and committed an unfair labor practice in violation of § 7116(b)(1) and (8). The Judge issued a cease and desist order and directed the Respondent to post a notice to this effect. However, the Judge denied the General Counsel's requested backpay remedy.

      Upon consideration of the Judge's decision, the GC's exceptions, and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions and recommended Order.

II.     Background and Judge's Decision

      Nineteen unit employees filed grievances concerning their performance appraisals and appraisal scores. The grievances were consolidated by the Respondent for arbitration. The Respondent resolved the grievances by entering into a settlement agreement with the Defense Finance Accounting Service (the Agency) that resulted in monetary awards for 7 of the 19 grievants. Lenda Spivey, one of the grievants who did not receive an award, filed a charge concerning the Respondent's failure to provide any information concerning the details of the settlement and monetary awards.

      Subsequently, the General Counsel issued a complaint, which alleged in relevant part that the "[t]he settlement agreement . . . resulted in a monetary award of $4,178[,] which Respondent determined only 7 of the 19 grievants were eligible to share." Complaint at ¶ 12. The complaint further alleged that "the Respondent violated its duty of fair representation under 5 U.S.C. § 7114(a)(1) by acting in an irrational, arbitrary and unreasonable manner by not properly and fairly advising the 19 grievants . . . of the objective criteria the Respondent intended to and did use to determine which employees would obtain a monetary award as part of the Respondent's settlement with the Agency." Id. at ¶ 13. On the basis of these allegations, the complaint alleged that the Respondent failed to comply with § 7114(a)(1) and thereby committed an unfair labor practice in violation of § 7116(b)(1) and (8). Id. at ¶ 14. The complaint also stated that pursuant to the Authority's Regulations, the Respondent was required to file an answer to the complaint and that failure to do so would constitute an admission to the allegations in the complaint.

      The Respondent failed to file an answer to the complaint. Subsequently, the General Counsel filed a motion for summary judgment based on the Respondent's failure to file an answer. As relevant here, the General Counsel alleged that the violation "resulted in a monetary loss for the remaining 12 grievants[,]" and requested that "th[e] Respondent be ordered to make whole the 12 grievants . . . who were irrationally, arbitrarily and unreasonably excluded from the . . . settlement agreement in violation of the Statute as described in . . . the [c]omplaint." Motion for Summary Judgment at ¶ 5, 6.

      The Judge found that as a result of the Respondent's failure to file an answer to the complaint, the Respondent admitted to the "crucial allegation" in the complaint that it "acted `in an irrational, arbitrary and unreasonable manner by not properly and fairly advising the 19 grievants . . . of the objective criteria the Respondent intended to and did use to determine which employees would obtain a monetary award as part of the Respondent's settlement with the Agency.'" Judge's Decision at 5-6 (quoting Complaint at ¶ 13). In this [ v61 p427 ] respect, the Judge found that "th[e] Respondent has admitted that it gave no explanation to the grievants of its reasons for treating some of them favorably and some of them unfavorably[, and that this] failure to explain constituted arbitrary conduct [that] violated the duty of fair representation" under § 7114(a)(1) and § 7116(b)(1) and (8). Id. at 6.

      With respect to the remedy for this violation, the Judge found that "neither the complaint itself nor the evidence submitted in support of the motion for summary judgment supports the backpay remedy[,]" since the General Counsel had not shown that the losses suffered by the employees were caused by the Respondent's violation of its duty of fair representation. Id. In this connection, the Judge found that by "[b]y failing to explain its reasons to the employees, Respondent acted arbitrarily and violated its duty of fair representation, but it did not necessarily cause any monetary loss to the 12 `losing' grievants." Id. The Judge noted that "[t]here simply is no evidence that those 12 grievants would have received awards if the Union had explained to them the reasons for the settlement." Id. The Judge issued a cease and desist order and directed the Respondent to post a notice to this effect.

III.     General Counsel's Exceptions

      The General Counsel excepts to the Judge's failure to grant the make-whole relief to the 12 grievants who were not included in the settlement agreement. In this respect, the General Counsel notes that the Judge determined that it had "failed to `show the necessary causal connection' between the Union's illegal actions and a monetary loss to the 12 employees excluded from the grievance settlement." Exceptions at 7 (quoting Judge's Decision at 6). The General Counsel maintains that the issue of causation was not an issue before the Judge and that "the `causal connection' was admitted by Respondent and was an `unassailable statement of fact[.]'" Id. at 7-8 (quoting United States Dep't of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 55 FLRA 968, 970 (1999)).

      In addition, the General Counsel maintains that questions concerning appropriate relief for the Respondent's admitted violation are appropriate for compliance proceedings before the Regional Director under Authority case law. Id. at 8-9 (citing United States Air Force, Loring AFB, Limestone, Me, 43 FLRA 1087, 1102 (1992) (Loring AFB)). The General Counsel maintains that if the Judge concluded that further fact-finding was necessary to determine the appropriate relief, then the Judge should have held a hearing solely on this issue. The General Counsel maintains that the Judge's denial of the make-whole relief effectively dismissed the complaint and that this dismissal was inconsistent with Authority and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) precedent. Id. at 9-10 (citing American Alpha Construction, Inc., 340 NLRB No. 48 (2003); Trade Force, Inc., 338 NLRB 777 (2003)). Lastly, the General Counsel maintains that the Judge's decision is inconsistent with Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires further proceedings when "judgment is not rendered upon the whole case or for the relief asked[.]" Id. at 11-12.

IV.     Analysis and Conclusions

      Section 7114(a)(1) of the Statute states that a union "is responsible for representing . . . all employees in the unit . . . without discrimination and without regard to labor organization membership." The Authority assesses claims that a union has discriminated on the basis of union membership by determining whether the union's disputed activities were undertaken in the role of exclusive representative and whether the union discriminated on the basis of union membership. See NFFE, Local 1827, 49 FLRA 738, 745-46 (1994). Where union membership is not involved, the Authority determines whether a union "acted arbitrarily or in bad faith" and whether the action "resulted in disparate or discriminatory treatment of a bargaining unit employee." Loring AFB, 43 FLRA at 1094.

      The Judge found that the Respondent violated its duty of fair representation under § 7114(a)(1). There is no exception to the Judge's finding in this regard. Rather, the General Counsel excepts only to the Judge's decision not to grant backpay to the 12 grievants who were not included in the settlement agreement.

      We note that the General Counsel alleged in its motion for summary judgment that the Respondent's violation of its duty of fair representation "resulted in a monetary loss for the remaining 12 grievants." Motion for Summary Judgment at 3, ¶ 5. However, in the complaint, the Respondent's alleged violation of its duty of fair representation was limited to "`acting in an irrational, arbitrary and unreasonable manner by not properly and fairly advising the 19 grievants . . . of the objective criteria the Respondent intended to and did use to determine which employees would obtain a monetary award as part of the Respondent's settlement with the Agency.'" Judge's Decision at 5-6 (quoting Complaint at 2, ¶ 13 (emphasis added)). As such, the alleged violation in the complaint that the Respondent admitted by virtue of its failure to file an answer was solely that the Respondent violated the Statute by failing to "advise" the grievants. The complaint does not allege, and hence the Respondent did not admit, that the alleged failure to [ v61 p428 ] advise employees resulted in a loss of pay, allowances, or differentials or that, in any other way, the Respondent violated its duty of fair representation by irrationally, arbitrarily and unreasonably failing to provide monetary awards for the 12 grievants. Thus, nothing in the complaint demonstrates that the 12 grievants are entitled to backpay as a result of the Respondent's failure to advise the grievants of the details of the settlement.

      Accordingly, we find that the Judge did not err in denying the make-whole relief. For the same reasons, we reject the General Counsel's claim that the determination regarding the specific make-whole relief for employees in this case should have been handled as a compliance matter. Similarly, we reject the General Counsel's claims that the Judge's decision not to grant the make-whole relief without conducting further fact-finding is inconsistent with Authority and NLRB case law. For example, the General Counsel's reliance on Loring AFB is misplaced. Unlike this case, the consolidated complaint in Loring AFB alleged that the union violated the Statute by entering into a settlement agreement that required the distribution of environmental differential pay in a manner that was affected by unlawful considerations of membership and status in the union and/or which treated one or more bargaining unit employees differently from other similarly situated unit employees. 43 FLRA at 1112. In the same vein, the complaints in the Board cases, Trade Force, Inc. and Alpha American Construction, Inc., specifically alleged that the respondents violated the National Labor Relations Act by unlawfully refusing to hire and/or to consider for hire applicants because of their involvement in union activities. As noted above, the alleged violation that the Respondent admitted by virtue of its failure to file an answer could not have resulted in a loss of pay, allowances or differentials because the nature of the allegation was solely that the Respondent violated the Statute by failing to "advis[e]" the grievants. Complaint at 2, ¶ 13. Thus, we find that the Judge did not err in concluding that the complaint does not support the General Counsel's request for backpay or further proceedings to determine the specific extent of make-whole relief. Accordingly, we deny the General Counsel's request for backpay or further proceedings.

V.     Order

      Pursuant to § 2423.41(c) of the Authority's Regulations and § 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3283, shall:

      1.      Cease and desist from:

           (a)      Failing to perform its duty of fairly representing bargaining unit employees by processing and resolving grievances in an irrational, arbitrary, or unreasonable manner.

           (b)     Failing to explain to grievants the objective criteria used by the Respondent in processing and resolving grievances.

           (c)     In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Statute.

      2.     Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:

           (a)     Represent the interests of all bargaining unit employees without acting in an irrational, arbitrary, or unreasonable manner.

           (b)     Explain to grievants the objective criteria used by the Respondent in processing and resolving grievances.

           (c)     Post at its business offices, and in all places where notices to employees represented by the Respondent are customarily posted, 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 President of the Respondent, 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.

           (d)     Submit appropriate signed copies of the Notice to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Cleveland Office, for posting in conspicuous places where unit employees represented by the Respondent are located. Copies of the Notice should be maintained for a period of 60 days from the date of the posting.

           (e)     Pursuant to § 2423.41(e) of the Authority's Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Chicago 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. [ v61 p429 ]


NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
POSTED BY ORDER OF THE
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

The Federal Labor Relations Authority has found that the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3283, violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and has ordered us to post and abide by this Notice.

We hereby notify employees that:

WE WILL NOT fail to perform our duty of fairly representing bargaining unit employees by processing and resolving grievances in an irrational, arbitrary, or unreasonable manner.

WE WILL NOT fail to explain to grievants the objective criteria we use in processing and resolving grievances.

WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Statute.

WE WILL represent the interests of all bargaining unit employees without acting in an irrational, arbitrary, or unreasonable manner.

WE WILL explain to grievants the objective criteria we use in processing and resolving grievances.

__________________________________
(American Federation of Government
Employees, Local 3283)

Date: _________     By: _____________________
                                          (Signature) (Title)

This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Chicago Regional Office, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 55 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60603-9729, and whose telephone number is: (312) 886-3465.


Office of Administrative Law Judges

AMERICAN FEDERATION
OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
LOCAL 3283
Respondent

and

LENDA D. SPIVEY
AN INDIVIDUAL
Charging Party

Case No. CH-CO-04-0601

Gary W. Stokes, Esq.
Greg A. Weddle, Esq.
For the General Counsel

Vic-tor Davis, President
For the Respondent               

Before: RICHARD A. PEARSON
Administrative Law Judge

DECISION ON MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Statement of the Case

      On December 7, 2004, the Acting Regional Director of the Chicago Region of the Federal Labor Relations Authority issued a Complaint and Notice of Hearing, which was duly served by certified mail upon the named Respondent. The Complaint alleged that Respondent violated section 7116(b)(1) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by failing to advise a group of grievants of the objective criteria used by the Respondent to determine which grievants would obtain a monetary award as part of the settlement of their grievances, thereby violating the Respondent's duty of fair representation. The Complaint also specified that, in accordance with the Authority's Rules and Regulations, the Respondent was required to file an answer to the Complaint no later than January 3, 2005, and that a failure to file an answer would constitute an admission of the allegations of the Complaint. Nonetheless, the Respondent did not file an answer to the Complaint.

      On February 9, 2005, Counsel for the General Counsel filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, based on the Respondent's failure to file a timely answer. The Motion for Summary Judgment was served on the Respondent by facsimile transmission and by certified mail on February 9, 2005. In accordance with sections 2423.27(b) and 2429.21(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, a response by the Respondent to the Motion for Summary Judgment was required within five [ v61 p430 ] days of service, or by February 16, 2005. On February 18, 2005, the Respondent's President, Vic-tor Davis (Davis), sent by facsimile transmission a letter to the Chief Administrative Law Judge, in which he stated that he had received "several different documents" in this case, that he did not intend to ignore any requirements to respond, and that he was prepared "to be in attendance for the actual trial date" scheduled for March 9, 2005. On February 28, 2005, the Chief Administrative Law Judge issued an order indefinitely postponing the hearing.

Discussion of Motion for Summary Judgment

      Section 2423.20(b) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, 5 C.F.R. § 2423.20(b), provides, in pertinent part:

(b) Answer. Within 20 days after the date of service of the complaint, . . . the Respondent shall file and serve . . . an answer with the Office of Administrative Law Judges. The answer shall admit, deny, or explain each allegation of the complaint. . . . Absent a showing of good cause to the contrary, failure to file an answer or respond to any allegation shall constitute an admission. Motions to extend the filing deadline shall be filed in accordance with § 2423.21.

The Rules and Regulations also explain how to calculate filing deadlines and how to request extensions of time for filing required documents. See, e.g., sections 2429.21 through 2429.23.

      The February 18 letter sent to this office by the Respondent's president was neither a timely answer to the complaint nor a timely response to the Motion for Summary Judgment. Therefore, the issue is whether the Respondent has shown "good cause" for its late submission. As noted above, Davis stated that he did not intend to ignore any requirements to respond, although that is precisely what he had done. He asserted that the Union was prepared to attend the hearing, and that "[t]here were some minor corrects that needed to be addressed that was in the charging party's documents that are not true facts." However, the letter offered no explanation or excuse for the Respondent's failure to answer the complaint. In short, nothing in the Respondent's letter demonstrates "good cause" for excusing the late submission, within the meaning of section 2423.20(b). See, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri, 52 FLRA 282 (1996).

      It is likely that Mr. Davis is inexperienced in unfair labor practice procedures, and his letter suggests that he might have believed he could simply appear at the hearing to present his case. But the Authority has made it clear that neither inexperience nor ignorance of its regulations is a valid excuse for failure to comply with those requirements. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory, Narragansett, Rhode Island, 49 FLRA 33, 35-36 (1994) (answer to a complaint and an ALJ's order); U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Waco, Texas and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1822, 43 FLRA 1149, 1150 (1992) (exceptions to an arbitrator's award). The exclusive bargaining representative of a unit of employees is responsible for complying with the law and regulations, and when its officials are not familiar with the law they must consult lawyers or other advisors who will help them comply.

      The Respondent's failure to respond timely is not attributable simply to inexperience, however. In the text of the Complaint and Notice of Hearing, the Acting Regional Director provided the Respondent with detailed instructions concerning the requirements for its answer, including the date on which the answer was due, the persons to whom it must be sent, and references to the applicable regulations. The plain language of the notice leaves no doubt that Respondent could not simply wait until the hearing to present its side of the case. An inexperienced official, exercising normal diligence, should have consulted with legal counsel or with more experienced union officials, if he had any questions as to what was required.

      In light of these factors, the Respondent has not shown good cause for its failure to file a timely answer to the Complaint. In accordance with section 2423.20(b) of the Rules and Regulations, this failure constitutes an admission of each of the allegations of the Complaint. There is, therefore, no genuine issue of material fact, and it is appropriate to resolve this case by summary judgment. Based on the allegations and admissions, I make the following findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations.

Findings of Fact

      The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE) is a labor organization under 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(4) and is the exclusive representative of a unit of employees appropriate for collective bargaining at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). AFGE Local 3283 (the Respondent) is an agent of AFGE for the purpose of representing employees in the unit described above at the DFAS Cleveland, Ohio facility. [ v61 p431 ]

      During all times pertinent to this complaint, Lenda D. Spivey (Spivey or the Charging Party) was an employee under 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(2) and was in the bargaining unit described above at the DFAS Cleveland facility.

      Between May 1, 2000, and April 30, 2001, a number of bargaining unit employees at the DFAS Cleveland facility filed grievances under the negotiated grievance procedure concerning their performance appraisals. The Respondent represented the employees in these grievances, and in August 2003 the Respondent grouped 19 of these grievances together for purposes of arbitration.

      On January 9, 2004, the Respondent and DFAS entered into a settlement agreement resolving all 19 grievances. Davis signed the agreement on behalf of the Respondent. Pursuant to the settlement, as evidenced by a copy of the agreement and documents attached to it, the Respondent agreed to withdraw its arbitration request, and DFAS agreed to change the performance appraisals for seven of the 19 grievants, with those seven grievants receiving additional awards totalling $4,178. Pursuant to an alternative settlement proposal, which the Union dropped, all 19 of the grievants would have had their performance appraisals changed, resulting in additional awards to the 19 grievants totalling $9,478. Thus, by virtue of the settlement agreement executed by the Respondent and DFAS, 12 of the 19 grievants represented by the Respondent received no adjustment in their appraisals and no adjustment in their awards.

      The Respondent failed to properly advise the grievants as to the objective criteria it used to determine which employees would obtain a monetary award as part of the settlement and which employees would not obtain a monetary award.

Conclusions

      Section 7114(a)(1) of the Statute vests exclusive representatives with the responsibility to represent "all employees in the unit it represents without discrimination and without regard to labor organization membership." This incorporates in Federal labor relations the duty of fair representation recognized for unions in the private sector. American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3354, AFL-CIO, 58 FLRA 184, 187 (2002) (Local 3354). In cases, such as this one, where union membership is not alleged to be a factor in the union's illegal action, the General Counsel must show that the union has "deliberately and unjustifiably treated one or more bargaining unit employees differently from other employees in the unit." National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1453, 23 FLRA 686, 691 (1986). Even without hostile intent, a union can violate its duty of fair representation if it acts arbitrarily. See, e.g., U.S. Air Force, Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, Maine, 43 FLRA 1087, 1098-99 (1992), and cases cited therein, where a violation was found because the union divided money from a grievance settlement based on arbitrary and unexplained changes.

      In this case, it has been established that the Respondent, acting as the exclusive representative of unit employees, agreed to a grievance settlement that was favorable for seven employees and unfavorable for 12 employees. In doing so, the Respondent had a wide range of discretion, but it could not act arbitrarily or without explanation. The complaint alleged that the Respondent acted "in an irrational, arbitrary and unreasonable manner by not properly and fairly advising the 19 grievants . . . of the objective criteria the Respondent intended to and did use to determine which employees would obtain a monetary award as part of the Respondent's settlement with the Agency." As I have already explained, the Respondent is deemed to have admitted this crucial allegation by its failure to answer the complaint. Thus Respondent has admitted that it gave no explanation to the grievants of its reasons for treating some of them favorably and some of them unfavorably. This failure to explain constituted arbitrary conduct and violated the duty of fair representation.

      I therefore conclude, based on the admitted allegations of the complaint and the documentation attached to the Motion for Summary Judgment, that the Respondent violated section 7114(a)(1) of the Statute and committed an unfair labor practice in violation of section 7116(b)(1) and (8).

      However, neither the complaint itself nor the evidence submitted in support of the Motion for Summary Judgment supports the backpay remedy sought by the General Counsel. The Authority has held that a union may be held liable for losses suffered by employees due to the union's violation of its duty of fair representation, but the General Counsel must show that the union's conduct caused the loss. Local 3354, supra, 58 FLRA 184, 191. Here, the General Counsel has not shown the necessary causal connection.

      The complaint merely alleges that the Respondent improperly failed to explain to the employees the criteria it used in its settlement of their grievances. From the evidence in the record, it is quite possible that the Respondent had legitimate reasons for settling the case unfavorably to 12 of the 19 grievants. By failing to [ v61 p432 ] explain its reasons to the employees, Respondent acted arbitrarily and violated its duty of fair representation, but it did not necessarily cause any monetary loss to the 12 "losing" grievants. There simply is no evidence that those 12 grievants would have received awards if the Union had explained to them the reasons for the settlement.

      Accordingly, I recommend that the Authority grant the General Counsel's motion for summary judgment and issue the following:

ORDER

      Pursuant to section 2423.41(c) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, it is hereby ordered that the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3283 (Respondent), shall:

      1.      Cease and desist from:

           (a)     Failing to perform its duty of fairly representing bargaining unit employees by processing and resolving grievances in an irrational, arbitrary or unreasonable manner.

           (b)     Failing to explain to grievants the objective criteria used by Respondent in processing and resolving grievances.

           (c)     In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining or coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

      2.      Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute:

           (a)     Represent the interests of all bargaining unit employees without acting in an irrational, arbitrary or unreasonable manner.

           (b)     Explain to grievants the objective criteria used by Respondent in processing and resolving grievances.

           (c)     Post at its business offices, and in all places where notices to employees represented by the Respondent are customarily posted, 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 President of the Respondent, 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 alt