Teachers and school staff look likely to be stuck with the problem-prone payroll system Novopay.
The minister tasked with fixing the mess, Steven Joyce, has today revealed he is leaning toward keeping the system.
But, he admits whatever he does, schools can expect more pain.
Over the last week, Mr Joyce has met with the Education Ministry and with Novopay’s creators, Australian company Talent2, to try and sort out the issues with the system which has suffered failures every pay round since its inception.
Today, he visited two schools in Wellington to discuss the issue with their principles. Northland School principle Jeremy Edwards told 3 News Mr Joyce has a big task ahead of him.
“The big issue for us is the time delay it's taking for inaccuracies to be corrected and the amount of forms and paperwork we have to fill in,” he says.
Mr Joyce says schools and teachers – who are understandably frustrated - need to get used to Novopay, which looks likely to stay.
“My sense is it's probably more likely to stay […] at this point. I'm not going to rule out any option and I'm not going to rule in any option at this point.
“I would say that there are no options that don't involve some continued pain for a period while things get sorted.”
Labour says the Government is relying too heavily on Mr Joyce’s role as a ‘fix-it’ minister.
“Mr Fix-It has quickly morphed into Mr Excuses, and I think schools want to be told that this problem's going to be fixed. They don't want to be told this problem's going to go on for years and years,” says Labour’s Chris Hipkins.
There is no indication as to how long this could go on and - despite Mr Joyce promising an inquiry at some stage - there is no deadline for a decision.