Figures show extent of Novopay bungle
Mon, 07 Jan 2013 6:00p.m.
By Michael Morrah
New figures show schools have been forced to pay more than a half-a-million dollars in advances to teachers affected by the Novopay education debacle.
Hundreds more teachers were paid for work at schools where they'd never been employed.
Laurie Powell has spent countless hours trying to get answers from Novopay. He's still owed money, and has become so disheartened with the dysfunctional payroll system he's considering other job options abroad.
“I've got no guarantee or confidence in the system that's in place at the moment, so possibly I do have to consider overseas options,” he says.
And Mr Powell isn't the only one who's lost faith.
From August to November last year, 581 teachers were paid for work at schools where they've never worked. Schools advanced more than $560,000 to people incorrectly paid by Novopay. More than 7500 were underpaid or not paid at all by Novopay and more than 15,000 calls to Novopay's service centre have gone unanswered or were abandoned since the new pay system went live.
“Thousands of people are being underpaid or overpaid,” says Labour’s Education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins. “Some people who aren't even teachers anymore are being paid. It's just been a total shambles.”
Mr Hipkins got the specifics after complaining to Parliament's Speaker about the quality of information from Associate Minister Craig Foss.
“If I was [Education Minister] Hekia Parata or Craig Foss I would be asking serious questions about whether Novopay is ever going to deliver the goods, and if it isn't they need to do something about it now,” he says.
But the Education Ministry says its priority has always been to ensure that teachers and other school staff are paid correctly and on time, and arrangements are being made to reimburse schools.
Mr Powell says such assurances are not good enough, and the minister should find an alternative system.
“If I made those sort of mistake, I would get the sack,” says Mr Powell. “She should be accountable as well.”
The next round of Novopay payments is due this week.
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17/01/2013 5:38:57 p.m.
Not sure where MOE got its figures from as this school alone is down in excess of $10k because of manual payments made to unpaid teaching staff (should be funded by central salaries and not school funds) and the funds taken from the school's bank account by Novopay to overpay staff or or to pay people who don't even work here! We are one of what...1200 schools?
8/01/2013 2:58:43 p.m.
And they want us to trust there census figures next......
8/01/2013 2:32:20 p.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
Wonder what system the Aussies are using to pay their staff....
8/01/2013 2:18:04 p.m.
Cat Kemp wrote:
I am a Secondary School English Teacher, currently employed, who will not even be paid at all this fortnight. "the Education Ministry says its priority has always been to ensure that teachers and other school staff are paid correctly and on time" - so why is it that I will not be able to have a manual payment until next week, and backpay from Novopay until the week after? Expecting your teachers to work for no pay is a sure fire way of sending more off to work overseas. Step up, New Zealand Government, and fix this mess.
7/01/2013 11:57:24 p.m.
John Davis wrote:
They need to use the same system that pays our politicians failing that novopay should be used for paying our politicians.
7/01/2013 11:04:14 p.m.
The magnitude of these mistakes suggest that the computer system does not even exist and that wage calculations are being done in a third world sweat shop.
7/01/2013 10:28:50 p.m.
why dont they just swap the beehive payroll thing for the novapay one then the teachers would get payed as well as a wage increase every year and the goverment can take as long as they like to sort novapay out. By my guess if it was the beehive on the novapay scheme they would take one day past there payday to sort it.
7/01/2013 10:15:47 p.m.
Sounds more reasonable than asking someone like you I guess Erm.
The system is majorly flawed and legal action needs to be taken.
7/01/2013 8:51:39 p.m.
I tell you what, Greg, instead of spending money on expensive elections or governments we should just ask you.
7/01/2013 8:45:44 p.m.
Parata, it's not good enough. You ought to be ashamed of the way your department has treated the teachers. I sincerely hope the Teacher's Union bill the Minister for the time spent sorting out the mess. Shame on you, Parata.
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