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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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24:0917(88)NG - NLRBU and NLRB, Office of the General Counsel and the Board -- 1986 FLRAdec NG

[ v24 p917 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 24 FLRA No. 88
                                            Case No. 0-NG-900
                         I.  Statement of the Case
    This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability appeal
 filed under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and concerns the
 negotiability of a single Union proposal.  We find this proposal to be
                              II.  Background
    The Union in this case filed three unfair labor practice charges
 against the Agency.  In the first charge, filed concurrently with this
 appeal, the Union alleged that management had bargained in bad faith
 when it refused to negotiate over a proposal similar to the one under
 review here.  The second and third charges, filed subsequent to this
 appeal, alleged that violations of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute
 occurred when the Agency refused to furnish the names and addresses of
 employees in two units represented by the Union.  In each instance, the
 Union elected to have the dispute processed under unfair labor practice
 procedures first.
    In each case, the Authority's Regional Office declined to issue a
 complaint.  The first charge was dismissed by the Regional Director
 because the dispute was not appropriate for processing under unfair
 labor practice procedures.  The second and third complaints were
 dismissed by the Regional Director on the basis that the information
 sought was readily available from other sources, and, therefore, the
 Agency's refusal to provide home addresses did not violate the Statute.
 After the refusals to issue complaints were sustained on appeals to the
 General Counsel, the Union asked that we resume processing this
 negotiability appeal.
                           III.  Union Proposal
       The Agency shall furnish the (Union) National President, the
       Washington District Vice President, and the Washington Local
       President, on an annual basis, a list of employees in the units to
       include:  name;  mailing address;  position title;  grade;  Agency
       E.O.D.; and date of last promotion.  The foregoing will be
       prepared as of December 31 each year and delivered by the end of
       February of each year.
                       A.  Positions of the Parties
    The Agency contends that disclosure of unit employees' home addresses
 is prohibited by law, specifically the Privacy Act of 1974. The Agency
 also points out that the Union has other "effective, expeditious ways"
 of communicating with the employees it represents.  In light of this
 fact, the Agency contends that the "routine use" exception to the
 Privacy Act is inapplicable to this dispute.
    While acknowledging that out decision in Farmers Home Administration
 Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 19 FLRA No. 21 (1985) involved a
 dispute nearly identical to the one in this case, the Union asserts that
 "the Authority, upon reconsideration, will reverse itself." In asserting
 this position, the Union contends that because employees actually have
 little privacy interest in their home addresses the Authority
 incorrectly denied the release of bargaining unit employees' names and
 addresses to the Union.
                        B.  Analysis and Conclusion
    Both parties agree that the question before us in this case is
 whether the release of bargaining unit employees' home addresses to the
 Union is a negotiable matter.  They also concede that our decision in
 Farmers Home Administration governs the dispute here.  In the original
 decision in that case, it was held that the disclosure of employees'
 names and home addresses was prohibited by the Privacy Act.  /1/
    The union in that case and the union in other cases in which the
 Farmers Home Administration precedent was followed petitioned for court
 review of the Authority's decisions.  In the course of litigation on
 appeal, it became apparent that the question of whether unions were
 entitled to unit employees' names and home addresses under the routine
 use exception of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 552a(b)(3), had not
 been examined previously.  Although that question had been raised before
 the Authority, it had not been addressed in the Farmers Home
 Administration decision.  Consequently, remand was requested and granted
 in that case and two others presenting the same issue.
    In our decision on remand, Farmers Home Administration, Finance
 Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101 (1986), we held that
 release of bargaining unit employees' names and home addresses to the
 union is not prohibited by law.  In that decision we noted, among other
 things, that the Office of Personnel Management has defined one routine
 use of Federal employees' personnel records as disclosure of information
 they contain to officials of a certified representative when relevant
 and necessary to the union's representational responsibilities.  Thus,
 we found that disclosure of names and home addresses was within the
 "routine use" exception to the Privacy Act.  In reaching the conclusion
 that release of the information was within the duty to bargain, we also
 stated that "the mere existence of alternative means of communication is
 insufficient to justify a refusal to release the information." /2/
    In our decision on remand we found that the union's written request
 for unit employees' names and home addresses did not have to be
 supported by an explanation of the reasons for the request, as is
 usually required by section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute.  In making that
 finding we stated, at page 8 of the decision:
       In our view, an exclusive representative's need for the names and
       home addresses of the bargaining unit employees it is required to
       represent is so apparent and essentially related to the nature of
       exclusive representation itself, that unlike requests for certain
       types of other information, an agency's duty to supply names and
       home addresses information does not depend upon any separate
       explanation by the union of its reasons for seeking the
    Thus, we concluded that the release of names and home addresses of
 bargaining unit employees to the union is not prohibited by law, is
 necessary for the union to fulfill its duties under the Statute and
 meets the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4).
    Based on our decision on remand in Farmers Home Administration, the
 disclosure of the type of information sought by the Union in this case
 is not barred by law and is, in fact, essentially related to a union's
 ongoing representational responsibilities.  Consequently, the proposal
 in this case which also seeks release of unit employees' home addresses
 is negotiable.  See also National Federation of Federal Employees, Local
 1655 and Adjutant General of Illinois, 24 FLRA No. 1 (1986).
    We also note that while section 7114(b)(4) obligates an agency to
 furnish an exclusive representative with information, to the extent not
 prohibited by law, necessary for the bargaining process, no provision of
 the Statute precludes the parties from negotiating contractual
 provisions requiring release of information which is otherwise not
 unlawful.  See National Treasury Employees Union and Department of
 Energy, 22 FLRA No. 12 (1986).
                                IV.  Order
    The Agency must upon request (or as otherwise agreed to by the
 parties) bargain concerning the disputed Union Proposal.  /3/
    Issued, Washington, D.C. December 30, 1986.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    (1) Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. Section 552a (1982).
    (2) Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri,
 Decision and Order on Remand, 23 FLRA No. 101 (1986), slip op. at 9.
    (3) In finding the disputed proposal to be within the duty to
 bargain, we make no judgment on its merits.