The Associated Press item {Federal Page, Dec. 8}, concerning my departure from the National Labor Relations Board, contained several errors:

The board has not made any ruling which "allowed managers to question workers about union activities. . . ." What we did was return to a longstanding rule which provides that in the case of questions or conversations between supervisors and employees, we will examine all the surrounding circumstances to determine whether such conversations may reasonably be considered coercive. That is, any question concerning union sympathies will not be considered per se coercive. Several courts had found the per se approach unacceptable. The "all the circumstances" approach has been universally approved by the courts.

The board's decision in which I participated concerning bargaining units in the health-care industry, the St. Francis Hospital decision, which may be affected by the current rulemaking procedure, did not give "hospitals and other health-care institutions wide latitude in determining the appropriate 'bargaining unit' as a way of defeating unions in representation elections." Bargaining units are determined by the board, consistent with the law and defined policy, subject to ultimate review by the courts. The board has always determined bargaining units by applying its rules and policies on a case-by-case basis. I believe the congressional admonition to avoid proliferation of bargaining units within health-care facilities is best served by continuing the traditional analysis of the facts in each case. The health-care industry is too diverse and dynamic to lend itself to the rule-making approach.

The Associated Press misspelled the name of the law firm I am joining. It is Keck, Mahin, and Cate.

It is not true that I "originally had wanted reappointment." When I accepted this appointment for one term, I was staying in government longer than I had planned to when I joined the administration in 1981. I have consistently made it clear that I intended to serve only one term. My decision had nothing to do with confirmation prospects. There is not a shred of evidence to the contrary. The Associated Press did not contact me about anything contained in the article. It is clear that the reporter relied on the usual unnamed sources who successfully use the press to advance their point of view or reveal their ignorance concerning labor matters.

Decisions in which I have participated have been affirmed by the courts at the highest rate in the board's history, about 30 percent higher than the agency's historic average.

DONALD L. DOTSON Chairman, National Labor Relations Board Washington