28:0338(50)CA - VA Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ and AFGE Local 2382 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA No. 50 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, PHOENIX, ARIZONA Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2382, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-70129
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority under section 2429.1(a) of our regulations based on the parties' stipulation of facts. 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 refusing to provide the Union with names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees. The Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs. For the reasons below, we find that the Respondent has committed the unfair labor practices as alleged.
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO (AFGE) is the exclusive representative of a consolidated unit which includes, among other units, a unit of eligible nonprofessional employees at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona. Local 2382 (the Union) acts as AFGE's agent with respect to these employees. By letter dated November 4, 1986, the Union requested the names and home addresses of all unit employees, which, by letter dated November 24, 1986, the Respondent declined to provide.
The parties have stipulated that the information sought by the Union is normally maintained in the regular course of [PAGE] business; is reasonably available; and does not constitute guidance, counsel or training for management officials or supervisors, relating to collective bargaining.
III. Positions of the Parties
A. The Respondent
The Respondent asserts that disclosure of the information requested is not required by section 7114(b) of the Statute because such disclosure is prohibited by law under the Privacy Act. It contends that disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of the employees' privacy and would not be for a routine use within the meaning of the Privacy Act. The Respondent also asserts that the information is not "data" necessary for the purpose of "collective bargaining" under section 7114(b)(4), and that the existence of sufficient alternative means of communicating with unit employees should be considered.
B. The General Counsel
The General Counsel argues that our decision in 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 the Farmers Home Administration Office, St. Louis, Missouri v. FLRA, No. 86-2579 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 1986), is controlling in this case. The General Counsel submits that the Respondent's refusal to provide the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees violates section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute and constitutes the unfair labor practices alleged in the complaint.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
In our decision on remand in Farmers Home, we held that the release of the names and home addresses of bargaining unit employees to exclusive representatives is not prohibited by law, is necessary for unions to fulfill their duties under the Statute, and meets all of the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4). Our decision in Farmers Home analyzed the two exceptions to the Privacy Act's bar to disclosure of personal information pertinent to the release of employees' names and home addresses: exception (b)(2), concerning the Freedom of Information Act, and exception (b)(3), relating to [ v28 p2 ] "routine use" of information. 1 We found that both exceptions to the Privacy Act's bar applied so as to authorize release of the information under the Privacy Act.
We also found in Farmers Home that the release of the information is generally required without regard to whether alternative means of communication are available. Further, from the parties' stipulation, it is evident that the other requirements of section 7114(b)(4)(A), (B) and (C) have been met. Consistent with our decision in Farmers Home, we therefore find that the Respondent was required to furnish the Union with the names and home addresses of the employees in the bargaining unit. Its refusal to do so violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Refusing to furnish upon request of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2382, AFL - CIO, the agent for the exclusive representative of a unit of its employees, the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.
(b) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of rights assured by the Statute.
2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute: [ v28 p3 ]
(a) Upon request by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2382, AFL - CIO, the agent for the exclusive representative of its employees, furnish it with the names and home addresses of all bargaining unit employees located at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.
(b) Post at Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the Director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, 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 Regional Director, Region VIII, 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 31, 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 to furnish, upon request of the American F