QUIZ YOURSELF: Particularized Need Limitations
Which of the following does a union not have to reveal to management to meet the particularized need standard for getting information.
A. Why it needs the information, B. The Uses to which it will put the data, C. The potential grievant one whose behalf it is requesting the information, D. How the information relates to its representational responsibilities, E. The potential violation it believes management committed, or F. Its strategies for using the data to represent the employee?
The “particularized need” doctrine permits agencies to ask a union to specify why it needs the requested information (the use to which it will be put) and how the information relates to its representational responsibilities. (See IFPTE, 63 FLRA No. 147 (2009)) For example, where a union said it needed the information in negotiations “to determine whether there was a legitimate operational need for the [agency’s] proposed change” and then explained that it planned to assess the need for office coverage and various ways necessary coverage could be achieved, the Authority said it had met that burden. (See AFGE, 64 FLRA No. 45 (2009)) In another case, the Authority upheld a request when the union said it needed the information to oversee the administration of an agreement by first determining whether to file a grievance and, if it did file, processing that grievance. (See CREA, IFPTE, 63 FLRA No. 147 (2009)) However, the union cannot be asked to reveal its strategies or identify any potential grievant. (See NTEU, 50 FLRA 661 (1995)) Management cannot even demand that the union describe the exact nature of the suspected agency error or violation. (See AFGE, 56 FLRA 156 (2000))