24:0043(5)CA - Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, St. Louis, MO and NFFE Local 1827 -- 1986 FLRAdec CA



[ v24 p43 ]
24:0043(5)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 24 FLRA No. 5
 
 DEFENSE MAPPING AGENCY AEROSPACE 
 CENTER, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL 
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1827
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 7-CA-20482 
                                              (19 FLRA No. 85)
 
                       DECISION AND ORDER ON REMAND
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This case is before the Authority pursuant to a remand from the
 United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  The question
 before the Authority is whether it is an unfair labor practice under the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) for the
 Respondent (Agency) to refuse a request, made pursuant to section
 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, to provide the Charging Party (Union) with
 the names and home addresses of employees in a bargaining unit which the
 Union exclusively represents.
 
    In a recent Decision and Order on Remand in another case, Farmers
 Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101
 (1986) (FHAFO), we reviewed the Authority's previous decision concerning
 the release of the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees
 to exclusive representatives.  We concluded that the release of the
 information 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).  We also determined that release of
 the information is generally required without regard to whether
 alternative means of communication are available.  Consistent with our
 decision on remand in FHAFO, we conclude that Respondent's refusal to
 provide the Union with the names and home addresses sought in this case
 violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.  We therefore
 vacate the Authority's previous decision in this case.
 
                                II.  Facts
 
    The Union requested the names and homes addresses of the unit
 employees it represented.  The Respondent denied the request on the
 ground that the information was not maintained in a form which was
 reasonably available.  The Respondent also contended that the home
 addresses in the employees' personnel records were not current, and that
 to retrieve the specific information from either its personnel records
 or its computerized payroll system would be unnecessarily costly and
 time consuming.
 
                 III.  Administrative Law Judge's Decision
 
    The Judge concluded that the Respondent failed to comply with the
 requirements of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute in violation of
 section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute when it refused to
 provide the Union, upon request, with the names and home addresses of
 all unit employees represented by the exclusive representative.  The
 Judge found that:  (1) the home addresses of unit employees, while not
 maintained in a discrete list, were available both in employees'
 personnel files and in the Respondent's data banks;  (2) the cost of
 retrieving this data was not unreasonable;  (3) it "seems axiomatic"
 that a union must be able to communicate effectively with the employees
 it represents;  and (4) the sources of communication available to the
 Union were neither effective nor reasonable.  The Judge concluded that
 the Respondent must apply the Union with names and home addresses and
 that the Privacy Act /*/ is not a bar to such disclosure.
 
                  IV.  Previous Decision of the Authority
 
    In its previous decision in this case, Defense Mapping Agency
 Aerospace Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 19 FLRA No. 85 (1985), the
 Authority followed the precedent established in the original FHAFO case,
 19 FLRA No. 21 (1985).  The Authority concluded that the release of home
 addresses was not required pursuant to section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute
 because the disclosure of such information was "prohibited by law,"
 specifically the Privacy Act.  The Union appealed.  National Federation
 of Federal Employees, Local 1827 v. FLRA, No. 85-2202 (8th Cir.).  The
 Authority requested that the court remand the case.  The Authority also
 sought remand from the courts in FHAFO and two other cases which had
 been appealed and presented substantially identical issues.  The courts
 granted the Authority's requests in the FHAFO case, American Federation
 of Government Employees, Local 3354 v. FLRA, No. 85-1493 (D.C. Cir.)
 (reviewing 19 FLRA No. 21);  in Philadelphia Metal Trades Council v.
 FLRA, No. 85-1625 (D.C. Cir.) (reviewing 19 FLRA No. 107);  and in this
 case.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, however, denied
 the Authority's remand request in one case, Social Security
 Administration, Northeastern Program Service Center, 19 FLRA No. 108
 (1985) and issued a decision.  The Second Circuit reversed the
 Authority's holding that the release of names and home addresses was
 "prohibited by law," i.e., the Privacy Act, under section 7114(b)(4) of
 the Statute.  American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1760 v.
 FLRA, 786 F.2d 554 (2nd Cir. 1986).  The Authority then decided to
 review the entire issue of the release of employees' names and home
 addresses and invited agencies, unions and interested persons to submit
 amicus briefs addressing the issue.  A number of amicus submissions were
 received.  Additionally, the Respondent in this case submitted a
 supplemental brief subsequent to the Eighth Circuit's remand and the
 Union filed a response.
 
                        V.  Postions of the Parties
 
    In its supplemental submission, the Respondent contends that the
 disclosure of employees' home addresses is not permitted under the
 "routine use" exception of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 552a(b)(3).
  The Respondent argues that the release of such information is not
 required by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in a notice
 published by OPM which defines the routine use of personnel records.
 The Respondent maintains that in determining whether release of data is
 a routine use, it must be shown that the release does not result in a
 clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  The Respondent urges
 the Authority to find, consistent with its prior decision, that the
 release of home addresses in this case would constitute a clearly
 unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
 
    In its response, the Union contends that when a request is made for
 material contained in an employee's personnel records, the test
 established by OPM's routine use notice is whether such information is
 necessary and relevant to the Union's representational duties.  The
 Union further urges the Authority to adopt the view of the Second
 Circuit in AFGE Local 1760 v. FLRA, 786 F.2d 554, that a union's need
 for home addresses outweighs employees' "modest" privacy interest in
 that information.  Finally the Union contends that the alternative means
 of communication available were inadequate, particularly as the Union
 wanted to convey a confidential message to the employees it represents
 and all of the alternative