The US Department of Justice’s Union Policies


Within the context of governmental organization performance, the issues of standard workforce procedures are viewed differently with the concern about the context in which these organizations work. Given the particularities that characterize the United States Department of Justice in terms of its decisive role in the correctional sphere, the policies and procedures should be strongly validated. This paper will discuss the agency’s union representation, privatization issues, plans for pension, and recommendations for productivity and performance evaluation.

The Agency and Unions

The United States Department of Justice is a multifaceted organization that incorporates a large number of employees whose relations with the agency must be regulated by the principles of fair representation. For that matter, it is necessary for the agency to have union representation. Overall, union representation is essential for any organization where the interests of employees are considered by leadership for long-term and effective cooperation. In particular, the first reason for the United States Department of Justice to have union representation is the scope of responsibilities the agency faces. Since it deals with public service, the quality of which predetermines public safety and order, it is essential that the effectiveness of these services is preserved and improved through union functioning (“Negotiated agreement,” 2012). Moreover, another reason for union representation is the validation of an ethical workplace environment. Indeed, according to the union agreement, an employer must ensure that union members can exercise “their duties as representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining, handling grievances and appeals, furthering effective labor-management relationships” (“Negotiated agreement,” 2012, p. 8). Thus, collective bargaining will be established, which ensures equality and effectiveness of labor relations in the workplace.

The Agency and Privatization

The United States Department of Justice should not initiate privatization of its services due to the conflict of interests of private entities in the domain of public services. Since the agency is a governmental institution, its primary goal is to preserve objectivity in service provision with the prioritization of safety and security of national interest and population. Thus, the first reason why the United States Department of Justice should not privatize its services is that privatization will cause a risk of equality and objectivity breach when executing the justice-related decision. Indeed, private entities’ interests might not purely reflect the law, and the overall service quality might be hindered.

The second reason why privatization should not be the case for the chosen agency is that the private sector fails to provide compatible quality of service that is required from such a high-ranking organization as the United States Department of Justice. For example, as stated by Zapotosky and Harlan (2016), the privatization of prisons did not contribute to the American justice system but only deteriorated it. Indeed, private prisons “do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and […] do not maintain the same level of safety and security” (Zapotosky and Harlan, 2016, para. 3). Thus, the privatization of the agency’s services might have negative results for its performance and should be avoided.

Employee Pension Plans

When analyzing the agency’s pension policies, one might state that the United States Department of Justice has a well-developed and strong strategy in terms of employee pension and retirement. In particular, Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is available to employees at retirement. According to this policy, federal employees have monthly payments according to the duration of their service and contribution, which is calculated at 4.4% a month (U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia, n. d.). Another pension plan available to the employees at the United States Department of Justice is Thrift Savings Plan. It implies that the agency will add 1% of the contribution to the FERS plan on behalf of eligible employees. It will allow them to benefit from tax treatment options, loan programs, withdrawal options, and others (U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia, n. d.). Both pension plans provide substantial and reliable benefits for the retirees in managing multiple life situations related to aging, which validates the quality of the agency’s policies in this area.

Recommendations for Improving Productivity and Performance Evaluation

Firstly, the agency should advance the functioning of its unions for a more effective collective bargaining over the labor issues. In such a manner, the problems related to relations between leadership and workers will be resolved in a timely manner, employees will feel empowered and appreciated, which will have an ultimately positive impact on their productivity. Secondly, to ensure adequate performance evaluation, the agency should initiate regular surveys and competency and skill assessments for quality control. In addition, courses and training should be introduced to maintain a high level of performance. Finally, an overall updating of such motivational mechanisms as promotion and rewards for performance excellence should be promoted (Asaari, 2019). In such a manner, the agency will be able to enhance productivity and ensure performance quality control.


In summation, the analysis of the United States Department of Justice showed that the agency operates effectively, although requiring some improvements. In particular, the advancement of union representation might improve the workplace environment and employee relations. The elimination of service privatization will contribute to performance effectiveness. Moreover, while pension plans available to employees are effective, the organization might benefit from the regular skill and competency control for performance improvement and motivational techniques updating for enhanced productivity.


Asaari, M. H. A. H., Desa, N. M., & Subramaniam, L. (2019). Influence of salary, promotion, and recognition toward work motivation among government trade agency employees. International Journal of Business and Management, 14(4), 48-59.

Negotiated agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, local 3097. (2012). Web.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia. (n. d.). Compensation and benefits package

Zapotosky, M., & Harlan, C. (2016). Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons. The Washington Post.

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DemoEssays. "The US Department of Justice’s Union Policies." September 10, 2022.