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-00616
John F. Gallagher, Esquire For the General Counsel Before: Eli Nash, Jr. Administrative Law Judge
OnSeptember 26, 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) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), 5 U.S.C. § 7116(a)(1) and (5), by failing and refusing to respond to the Charging Party's March 29, 2000 request to negotiate and submit proposals concerning the retention and recruitment of bargaining unit employees located in Respondent's Pharmacy. A hearing was scheduled for February 2, 2001.
The Complaint specifically advised the Respondent that an answer must be filed "no later than October 23, 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.
An Order Transferring the Case dated October 17, 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 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 December 18, 2000. 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).
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 of 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(3) of the Statute. James Harris is Respondent's Nurse Executive and acted on behalf of Respondent as a supervisor and/or management official under section 7103(a)(10) and (11).
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 March 29, 2000 the Union by its President Connie Buttone, requested to negotiate and submitted a list of proposals to Respondent relating to the retention and recruitment of bargaining unit employees located in Respondent's Pharmacy.
4. Since March 29, 2000 Respondent has failed and refused to respond to the Union's negotiation request or proposals contained in the Union's March 29, 2000 request to negotiate.
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 failed and refused to respond to the Union's negotiation request or the proposals contained in the Union's letter of March 29, 2000. Thus, Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute, as alleged.
Additionally, Counsel for the General Counsel proposed a recommended remedy requiring Respondent to respond to the Union's request to negotiate and its proposals, and to negotiate in good faith to the extent required by the Statute. The General Counsel also proposed a 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
Pursuant to section 2423.41(c) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations St