28:0068(16)CA - 831 Combat Support Group (TAC), George AFB, CA and NFFE Local 977 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA No. 16 831 COMBAT SUPPORT GROUP (TAC), GEORGE AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA Respondent and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 977 Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-60255
The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached Decision in the above-entitled proceeding, finding that the Respondent had engaged in the unfair labor practices alleged in the complaint and recommending that the Respondent be ordered to take appropriate remedial action. Thereafter, the Respondent filed exceptions to the Judge's Decision and a supporting brief.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute), we have reviewed the rulings of the Judge made at the hearing and find that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed. Upon consideration of the Judge's decision, the exceptions, and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions and recommended Order.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service [PAGE] Labor - Management Relations Statute, the 831 Combat Support Group (TAC), George Air Force Base, California, shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 977, the exclusive representative of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the appropriated fund bargaining unit it represents.
(b) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining or coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.
2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:
(a) Furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 977, the exclusive representative of its employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the appropriated fund bargaining unit it represents.
(b) Post at its facilities on George Air Force Base where appropriated fund bargaining unit employees represented by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 977 are located, copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the Base Commander 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 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations notify the [ v28 p2 ] Regional Director, Region VIII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Los Angeles, California, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply.
Issued, Washington, D.C., JULY 23, 1987.
Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
Henry B. Frazier III, Member
Jean McKee, Member
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY [ v28 p3 ]
NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES AS ORDERED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE WE NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
WE WILL NOT refuse to furnish, upon request of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 977, the exclusive representative of our employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the appropriated fund bargaining unit it represents.
WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.
WE WILL, furnish the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 977, the exclusive representative of our employees, the names and home addresses of all employees in the appropriated fund bargaining unit it represents.
_____________________________ (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 its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Region VIII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is: 350 South Figueroa Street, 10th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90071, and whose telephone number is: (213) 894-3805. [PAGE]
831 COMBAT SUPPORT GROUP (TAC), GEORGE AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA Respondent and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 977 Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-60255 James H. Harper, Esq. For the Respondent Deborah S. Wagner, Esq. For the General Counsel Before: SALVATORE J. ARRIGO Administrative Law Judge
Statement of the Case
This case arose under the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C. 7101, et seq. (herein the Statute).
Upon an unfair labor practice charge having been filed by the captioned Charging Party (herein sometimes the Union) against the captioned Respondent, (herein sometimes George AFB), the General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (herein the Authority), by the Regional Director for Region VIII, issued a Complaint and Notice of Hearing alleging Respondent violated the Statute by failing and refusing, upon request, to furnish the Union with the names and addresses of certain bargaining unit employees.
A hearing on the Complaint was conducted in Los Angeles, California at which all parties were represented and [PAGE] afforded full opportunity to adduce evidence, call, examine and cross-examine witnesses and argue orally. Briefs were filed by counsel for Respondent and the General Counsel and have been carefully considered.
Upon the entire record in this case, my observation of the witnesses and their demeanor and from my evaluation of the evidence, I make the following:
Findings of Fact
At all times material the Union has been the exclusive bargaining representative of various professional and non-professional employees employed at George AFB. At George AFB the Union also represents employees in a non-appropriated fund unit and a unit of exchange store employees.
By letter dated April 8, 1986 the Union requested that Respondent provide it with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees in both the appropriated and non-appropriated units. No reason was given as to why the Union needed the information. Respondent denied the Union's request on April 14 indicating that names and duty locations of unit employees would continue to be supplied to the Union but the request for home addresses was "determined to be prohibited by law under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a (1982)." 1
On April 16, 1986 the Union sent another letter to Respondent, this time requesting only the names and addresses of employees in the appropriated fund unit. The Union explained that they wished the information in order to communicate with all bargaining unit employees regarding current negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement which affected these employees. The Union noted that communication by means of the Union newsletter did not reach non-members whom the Union was also required to represent. By letter of April 18 Respondent again denied the Union's [ v28 p2 ] request indicating it was however willing to supply the union with a current list of bargaining unit members' names and duty locations. 2
The record reveals that the names and addresses of the requested employees may be found by reference to personnel files, however those addresses may be out-of-date. In addition, Respondent's Civilian Personnel Office (CPO) has a list of the names of unit employees with duty locations readily available but the current home addresses of these employees would have to be obtained from the Accounting and Finance office either by executing a series of computer commands or manually matching the addresses with the CPO list of unit employees. 3 Respondent's Civilian Personnel Officer Rudy Longoria testified that his information from the "computer people" indicated that while computer capability was available, there was a problem with staffing in that the current staff was working on a 24 hour shift and with that manpower, they were "unable to address too many more things on the computer."
The record further reveals that with regard to communicating with the approximately 400 appropriated fund unit employees, the parties' existing collective bargaining agreement grants the union: use of a conference room for monthly meetings; use of Respondent's internal mail system, except for internal Union business; bulletin board space in each area where there exists an official bulletin board; 4 and quarterly lists of employees showing position, title, grade and duty station, updated bi-weekly. The record also [ v28 p3 ] reveals that the Union may also contact unit employees by depositing the mail at the base post office and paying the postage for delivery through Respondent's internal mall system. Gordon Grainger, Local 977 President, testified however that he was not satisfied with the security or the reliability of the above systems of employee communication.
Discussion and Conclusions
Counsel for the General Counsel contends Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) of the Statute when on April 14 and April 18, 1986 Respondent refused to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of employees in the appropriated fund unit. Counsel for Respondent contends that disclosure of the requested information is precluded by the Privacy Act and therefore "prohibited by law" within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. Respondent also argues that such information is neither "normally maintained" nor "reasonably available and necessary" within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4)(A) and (B) of the Statute.
Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute provides:
"(b) The duty of an agency and an exclusive representative to negotiate in good faith under subsection (a) of this section shall include the obligation . . .
"(4) in the case of an agency, to furnish to the exclusive representative involved, or its authorized representative, upon request and, to the extent not prohibited by law, data--
"(A) which is normally maintained by the agency in the regular course of business;
"(B) which is reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining; and
"(C) which does not constitute guidance, advice, [ v28 p4 ] counsel, or training provided for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining . . ." 5
In Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA 788 (1986), the Authority held: (1) the disclosure of the names and addresses of bargaining unit employees to the exclusive representative was not prohibited by the Privacy Act; (2) an agency's possession of Official Personnel Files wherein can be found employees' addresses satisfies the requirements of section 7114(b)(4)(A) and (B) of the Statute that such data to be normally maintained by the agency and reasonably available; and (3) such data was necessary under section 7114(b)(4)(B) for unions to meet their statutory obligation to represent the interests of all employees in the unit without discrimination as required by section 7114(a)(1) of the Statute, notwithstanding the existence of alternative means by which a union might communicate to unit employees. In subsequent decisions the Authority followed Farmers Home Administration in deciding numerous cases which involved substantially the same issues. Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 24 FLRA 39 (1986); Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 24 FLRA 43 (1986); Social Security Administration, Northeastern Program Service Center, 24 FLRA 08 (1986); Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, 24 FLRA 209 (1986) ; Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, 24 FLRA 226 (1986) ; Department of Health and Human Services, Region V, 26 FLRA No. 56 (1987) ; and Air Force District of Washington, 26 FLRA No. 64 (1987).
The facts presented herein and the arguments raised by Respondent are not significantly different from those considered by the Authority in Farmers Home Administration and cases which followed thereafter, supra. In view of the Authority's holdings in these cases I am constrained to conclude Respondent's defenses to its failure and refusal to provide the Union with the names and addresses of appropriated fund unit employees as requested by the Union [ v28 p5 ] on April 8 and 16, 1986 to be without merit. 6 I further conclude Respondent was obligated under section 7114(b) of the Statute to furnish the union with the names and addresses of appropriated fund unit employees and accordingly, I conclude Respondent's refusals to furnish such data on April 14 and 18, 1986 violated section 7116(a)(1)(5) and (8) of the Statute and recommend the Authority issue the following:
Pursuant to Section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and section 7118 of the Statute, the Authority hereby orders that the 831 Combat Support Group (TAC