JE: Pro and Con of Joint Submissions

A joint submission is one in which several staff who hold the same position in a unit fill out one form to submit for all members: for example 5 file clerks in one administrative office or 6 library staff all performing the same duties.

There are some clear advantages and a few disadvantages to this type of submission, which has become increasingly common in recent years. Many managers prefer joint submissions because it removes any potential for disagreements over smaller details of each job; it makes it easier to cross-train staff for filling in during absences; and it means less time overall is spent on completing the JEQs.

In most cases those advantages are also advantages for the incumbents, especially the time savings and the fact that staff can meet and come up with very good examples that work for all positions.

Bear in mind these caveats:

  • earlier ratings for any of the jobs may or may not be considered when looking at the collective submission; this means the overall points may be lower for some positions and higher for others but all members of the joint submission will receive the same rating.
  • some subfactors are very difficult to claim higher levels when considered inside a joint submission. Specifically, questions of supervision (subfactor 8) and responsibilities (subfactor 10) are difficult to support; frequently the committee is forced to rate positions at the “lowest common denominator” in these subfactors.
  • if the co-chairs or the committee feels there are significant differences between positions, the joint submission may be returned to the department with instructions to split it into individual submissions.

If you have any questions about joint submissions or feel you are being pressured to go forward with a joint submission when individual submissions would be more appropriate, please contact the JE co-chair or a steward.