DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1904
|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-01-0581
Sharon Wilson Rivers, Esquire For the General Counsel
Before: Eli Nash, Chief Administrative Law Judge
OnJuly 31, 2001 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 the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana (herein called Respondent), violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), 5 U.S.C. § 7116(a)(1) and (5), by unilaterally implementing 12 hour shifts on Ward 4C at Respondent's New Orleans facility without providing the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904 (herein called Union), with notice and an opportunity to negotiate over the change to the extent required by the Statute. A hearing was scheduled for November 28, 2001.
The Complaint specifically advised the Respondent that an answer must be filed "no later than August 27, 2001" and that 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.
No answer was received from the 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 September 6, 2001. Respondent also 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).
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 has admitted that it unilaterally implemented 12 hour shifts on Ward 4C without providing the Union with notice and an opportunity to bargain over the shift change. Thus, Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute as alleged.
Secondly, Counsel for the General Counsel proposed a recommended remedy requiring Respondent to negotiate over the impact and implementation of the change as required by the Statute, 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:
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:
- Cease and desist from:
(a) Unilaterally implementing 12 hour shifts on Ward 4C without providing the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1904, with notice and an opportunity to negot