24:0475(51)NG - AFGE Local 997 and Air Force, Maxwell AFB, AL -- 1986 FLRAdec NG



[ v24 p475 ]
24:0475(51)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 24 FLRA No. 51
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 997
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, 
 MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-777
 
                 DECISION AND ORDER on NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability appeal
 filed under section 7105(a)(2)(D) and (E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and presents issues as
 to the negotiability of a single Union proposal.  We find that the
 proposal is negotiable.  /1/
 
                            II.  Union Proposal
 
       The employer will absorb seventy-five (75) percent of the cost of
       the Health Insurance, Life and AD&D.
 
                      III.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The Agency contends that the proposal is outside the duty to bargain
 because it does not concern conditions of employment of bargaining unit
 employees, affects employees outside the bargaining unit, interferes
 with its right under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute to determine its
 "budget," and is inconsistent with an Agency regulation for which there
 is a compelling need.  The Union disputes the Agency's contentions and
 asserts that the proposal is negotiable.
 
                       IV.  Analysis and Conclusions
 
    In American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1897
 and Department of the Air Force, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, 24 FLRA
 No. 41 (1986) we held that nothing in the Statute, or its legislative
 history, bars negotiation of proposals relating to pay and fringe
 benefits insofar as (1) the matters proposed are not specifically
 provided for by law and are within the discretion of the agency and (2)
 the proposals are not otherwise inconsistent with law, Government-wide
 rule or regulation or an agency regulation for which a compelling need
 exists.  Based on that analytical framework, we held that the proposal
 in that case, which required the agency to pay up to 75 percent of the
 premium cost of health insurance for non-appropriated fund (NAF)
 employees, was within the duty to bargain.
 
    In the present case as in Eglin Air Force Base the employees involved
 are NAF employees whose health insurance benefits are not established by
 law but are governed by Agency regulation.  The proposal in this case is
 not materially different from the one in Eglin Air Force Base.  It
 addresses employer contributions for life and accidental death and
 dismemberment (AD&D) insurance as well as those for health insurance;
 however, the Agency makes no argume