In Kāpiti, and up and down the country, school teachers and staff have been picketing National Party offices this week.
They’re been making a public statement about the on-going pay problems with the $30 million Novopay system.
All local schools have been affected and some principals have detailed the inaccurate payments in their newsletters to parents.
In the six months of since the launch of the Talent 2 Novopay system, there have been multiple problems each pay cycle — including underpayments and, in some cases, no payments at all.
Novopay minister Stephen Joyce took over the job of trying to resolve the payroll issues from Education Minister Hekia Parata when it became evident that she was unable to resolve on-going problems.
Mr Joyce told TVNZ’s Breakfast programme this week that he understood the teachers’ frustration, but that the situation was not an easy one to fix.
The government has agreed to pay a further $5 million to the Australian based company despite their failure to meet performance targets.
More costs to schools than expected
While the new system may have been intended as a way to transfer the costs of data input to schools rather than continuing to employ Ministry of Education staff, the effect of the changes have incurred much more costs to schools than expected.
Local principals continue to highlight the costs the new pay system has put on schools through requiring additional administrative staffing hours.
Principals are also aware that dealing with Novopay issues is taking the focus away from other aspects of running the school, and that introducing some additional support programmes for students could cause such a hassle that the school are no longer prepared to run them.
Parents should be aware that the Novopay problems have disadvantaged their children because the additional costs means less funds for other school programmes, that activities are being cut because of the potential chaos that may result when paying people to run them, and parents should therefore support the teachers in their action to highlight the on-going problems.