28:0085(18)CA - VA Medical Center, Fort Howard, MD and AFGE Local 2146 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA No. 18 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER FORT HOWARD, MARYLAND Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2146, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 3-CA-70181
I. Statement of the Case
This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, based on a stipulation of facts by the parties, who have agreed that no material issue of fact exists.
The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by failing and refusing to provide the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2146, AFL - CIO (the Charging Party), with the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Fort Howard, Maryland.
The American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2146, AFL - CIO is the exclusive representative of all regular workforce employees of the Veterans Administration, Fort Howard, Maryland with the exception of management officials, supervisors, professional employees and personal service employees engaged in other than purely clerical work. By letter dated November 13, 1986, the Charging Party requested that the Respondent furnish it with a list of home addresses of all unit employees. By letter dated November 19, 1986, the Respondent refused to furnish the Union with the information requested. The parties stipulated that the home [PAGE] addresses of the employees are normally maintained by the Respondent in the regular course of business; are reasonably available; and do not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training provided to management officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
The Respondent contends that the information is not necessary for the Charging Party "to communicate 'full and proper discussion, understanding and negotiations of subjects within the collective bargaining unit.'" Respondent's Answer to Complaint at 2. The Respondent states that the Authority's decisions concerning this issue are subject to appeals now pending in the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. See Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 24 FLRA No. 5 (1986), petition for review filed sub nom. U.S. Department of Defense and Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 87-1024 (8th Cir. Jan. 8, 1987); Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 23 FLRA No. 101 (1986) (Farmers Home), petition for review filed sub nom. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farmers Home Administration Finance Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2779 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986). The Respondent asserts that its legal position in this matter is the same as the position taken by the appealing agencies in the cases above and that pending the outcome of those cases, any decision in this matter would be premature and without legal effect.
The General Counsel argues that the Authority's decision on remand in Farmers Home, in which the Authority concluded that section 7114 (b) (4) of the Statute entitled the exclusive representative to the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit, is dispositive of the issue in this case. The General Counsel contends that the Respondent's admitted failure to furnish the employees' home addresses constitutes a clear violation of section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.
IV. Analysis and Conclusion
in our Decision and Order on Remand in Farmers Home, we concluded that the release of the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees to their exclusive representatives is not prohibited by law, is necessary for unions to fulfill their duties under the Statute, and meets all of the other [ v28 p2 ] requirements established by section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute. We also determined that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternate means of communication are available.
The arguments made by the Respondent in this case are essentially the same arguments asserted by the agency in Farmers Home. Based on our decision on remand in Farmers Home, we conclude that the Respondent's refusal to provide the Charging Party with the names and home addresses sought in this case violates section 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute. In so concluding, we find that the pending appeals cited by the Respondent do not preclude our resolution of this matter.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Fort Howard, Maryland, shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish, upon request by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2146, AFL - CIO, the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of employees in the bargaining unit.
(b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights assured them by the Statute.
2. Take the following affirmative actions in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute:
(a) Furnish the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2146, AFL - CIO, the names and addresses of all bargaining unit employees of the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Fort Howard, Maryland.
(b) Post at the Medical Center copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt [ v28 p3 ] of such forms they shall be signed by the Director of the Medical Center and shall be posted in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted, and shall be maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter. 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 Regional Director, Region III, Federal Labor Relations Authority, 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 p4 ]
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 or fail to furnish, upon re