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Pay still missing for some teachers

Friday 07 Sep 2012 6:21p.m.

Pay still missing for some teachers

By Krissy Moreau

The disaster continues for the Ministry of Education's new $29.4 million payroll service.

Earlier this week teachers complained they were paying the price for a badly introduced system – now some have empty bank accounts.

For Dunedin-based relief teacher Janneke Rombouts, the ministry’s new payroll system Novopay has been one headache after another.

“Very nerve-wracking,” she says. “I've had a few sleepless nights”.

First there was no pay slip, but the ministry told her she'd be paid regardless. A week on she's still waiting, and now the creditors have come knocking

“The bank asked for an explanation, phoned me twice, and twice I had to explain to them,” says Ms Rombouts.

Ministry of Education chief information officer and Novopay governance board member Leanne Gibson says there have been a number of reasons for the problems.

“With a payroll of this scale there are a variety of reasons, not necessarily associated with Novopay – wrong bank account numbers, incorrect information,” she says.

Ms Rombouts says she was advised to seek help at Work and Income.

But the ministry says despite issues with the systems usability, it's standing by its system upgrade which has paid 90,000 people this pay round.

Ms Rombouts is not the only one who can't pay the bills this week. She says there are a number of staff where she teaches at Tokomairiro High School who are in the same boat, and she's hearing stories from more around the country.

Ms Gibson says the ministry is trying to resolve the situation.

“It’s not acceptable and we really want to work with the schools and these individuals to get the pay sorted, and as I said to reimburse them for any expenses occurred for either being underpaid or not being paid.”

While the ministry works on ironing out the bugs, all Ms Rombouts wants to do is pay the bills.

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08-08-2014 12:00