DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1904

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

Office of Administrative Law Judges

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20424-0001

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Respondent

and

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL

EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1904

Charging Party

Case No. DA-CA-00422

NOTICE OF TRANSMITTAL OF DECISION

The above-entitled case having been heard before the undersigned Administrative Law Judge pursuant to the Statute and the Rules and Regulations of the Authority, the under-signed herein serves his Decision, a copy of which is attached hereto, on all parties to the proceeding on this date and this case is hereby transferred to the Federal Labor Relations Authority pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 2423.34(b).

PLEASE BE ADVISED that the filing of exceptions to the attached Decision is governed by 5 C.F.R. §§ 2423.40-2423.41, 2429.12, 2429.21-2429.22, 2429.24-2429.25, and 2429.27.

Any such exceptions must be filed on or before

JANUARY 2, 2001, and addressed to:

Federal Labor Relations Authority

Office of Case Control

607 14th Street, NW, 4th Floor

Washington, DC 20424

ELI NASH, JR.

Administrative Law Judge

Dated: November 30, 2000

Washington, DC


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

Office of Administrative Law Judges

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20424-0001

MEMORANDUM DATE: November 30, 2000

TO: The Federal Labor Relations Authority

FROM: ELI NASH, JR.

Administrative Law Judge

SUBJECT: DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Respondent

and Case No. DA-CA-00422

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

LOCAL 1904

Charging Party

Pursuant to section 2423.34(b) of the Rules and Regulations, 5 C.F.R. § 2423.34(b), I am hereby transferring the above case to the Authority. Enclosed are copies of my Decision, the service sheet, and the transmittal form sent to the parties. Also enclosed is a Motion for Summary Judgment and other supporting documents filed by the parties.

Enclosures


FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

Office of Administrative Law Judges OALJ 01-08

WASHINGTON, D.C.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Respondent

and

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL

EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1904

Charging Party

Case No. DA-CA-00422

Susanne S. Matlin, Esquire

For the General Counsel

Before: Eli Nash, Jr.

Administrative Law Judge

DECISION ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

On June 29, 2000 the Regional Director for the Dallas Region of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), 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(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), 5 U.S.C. § 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) by its refusal to furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904 (the Union), with position descriptions for seven positions, as requested. A hearing was scheduled for October 13, 2000.

The Complaint specifically advised the Respondent that an answer must be filed "no later than July 24, 2000" and that a failure to file an answer or respond to any allegation of this complaint will constitute an admission. See 5 C.F.R. § 2423.20(b). Respondent did not file an answer, either in person or by mail, within the required period or at any time thereafter.

A Motion to Reschedule Prehearing Conference Call and Hearing was served on Respondent by facsimile on August 30, 2000. An Order Rescheduling Hearing, rescheduled the hearing to January 8, 2001, was served on Respondent by regular mail on August 31, 2000.

An Order Transferring the Case dated September 8, 2000, was served by regular mail on Respondent, indicating that the case had been transferred to the Chicago Regional Office of the FLRA.

No answer was received from Respondent nor has Respondent acknowledged receipt of any of the above-mentioned documents. Accordingly, Respondent has admitted all of the allegations of the Complaint. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Asheville, North Carolina, 51 FLRA 1572, 1594 (1996).

Since Respondent failed to answer the instant Complaint, Counsel for the General Counsel filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on November 6, 2000. Respondent failed to file any response to the General Counsel's Motion for Summary Judgment within the 5 day time period provided for in the Regulations. See 5 C.F.R. § 2423.27(b).

Findings of Fact

The undisputed facts in this case are as follows:

1. The Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, is an agency within the meaning 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(3) of the Statute. James Rhoads is Respondent's Chief of Human Resource Management.

2. The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) is the exclusive representative of a nationwide consolidated unit of employees appropriate for collective bargaining at the Respondent. The National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904, is an agent of NFFE for the purpose of representing bargaining unit employees at Respondent's New Orleans, Louisiana, facility.

3. On or about February 23, 2000, the Union, by President Connie Buttone, requested Respondent provide position descriptions for seven positions. The information requested by Buttone is normally maintained by Respondent in the normal course of business, is reasonably available, is necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of bargaining, and does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining. Furthermore, the requested information is not prohibited from disclosure by law.

4. On or about February 29, 2000, Respondent by Rhoads, denied the Union's request to provide position descriptions for the seven positions described above.

5. On or about March 8, 2000, Buttone clarified the request by providing identifying GS number for each position.

6. On or about March 10, 2000, Rhoads again denied the Union's request for position descriptions for seven positions.

7. Since March 10, 2000, Respondent, by Rhoads refused to furnish the Union with the position descriptions for the seven positions described above.

Conclusions

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 . . . . Absent a

showing of good cause to the contrary, failure to

file an answer or respond to any allegation shall

constitute an admission.

In this case, Respondent has not filed an answer as required by the Regulations. Furthermore, Respondent filed no response to the Motion for Summary Judgment. Accordingly, there are no disputed factual or legal issues in this case.

Consequently, it can only be found that Respondent refused to furnish the Union with the seven position descriptions described in the Complaint. Thus, Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute, as alleged.

Additionally, Counsel for the General Counsel proposed a recommended remedy requiring Respondent to provide the Union with the requested information and the posting of an appropriate Notice to All Employees signed by the Medical Center Director, Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. In the circumstances of this case, it is found that the proposed remedy does effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute.

Accordingly, it is recommended that the Authority grant the General Counsel's Motion for Summary Judgment, and issue the following Order:

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 Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, shall:

  1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Failing and refusing to furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904, with position descriptions for seven positions, as requested.

(b) 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.

  1. Take the following affirmative action in order to

effectuate the purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute:

(a) Furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904, with position descriptions for seven positions, as requested.

(b) Post at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, where bargaining unit employees represented by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904 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 Director, Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, 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 2423.41(e) of the Authority's Rules and 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 herewith.

Issued, Washington, DC, November 30, 2000.

___________________________

ELI NASH, JR.

Administrative Law Judge


NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES

POSTED BY ORDER OF THE

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

The Federal Labor Relations Authority has found that the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, and has ordered us to post and abide by this Notice.

WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:

WE WILL NOT fail and refuse to furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904, with position descriptions for the seven positions, as requested.

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 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

WE WILL, furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904, the position descriptions for the seven positions, as requested.

____________________________________

(Respondent/Activity)

Dated: _______________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 any of its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Chicago Regional Office, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 55 West Monroe Street, Suite 1150, Chicago, Illinois 60603, and whose telephone number is: (312)353-6306.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that copies of this DECISION issued by

ELI NASH, JR., Administrative Law Judge, in Case No.

DA-CA-00422, were sent to the following parties:

CERTIFIED MAIL & RETURN RECEIPT CERTIFIED NOS:

Susanne Matlin, Esquire P168-060-259

Federal Labor Relations Authority

55 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1150

Chicago, IL 60603

Carolyn Grey P168-060-260

VAMC, Human Resources

1601 Perdido Street

New Orleans, LA 70112

Conchetta Buttone, President P168-060-261

NFFE, Local 1904

c/o VAMC

1601 Perdido Street

New Orleans, LA 70112

REGULAR MAIL: