Schools still beset by Novopay problems
Wed, 28 Nov 2012 6:37p.m.
By Tova O'Brien
By Tova O’Brien
It could take more than a year to iron out all the kinks in the error-ridden Novopay payroll system.
Last night teachers and education staff were paid for the eighth time under the new system, and although things seem to have gone smoother there are still hundreds, and possibly thousands, of problems.
Belmont Intermediate principal Justin Sommerville is feeling swamped by the Novopay errors. He was told things would be better by now – but after last night's pay cycle he's still dealing with nine problems.
“The reality is it hasn't been sorted out, things are not changing, we still have unresolved issues and we have new issues,” says Mr Sommerville.
The system was adopted under the watch of Ministry of Education boss Lesley Longstone, who admitted to MPs today that she should've done better.
“If I were to do it again I would probably do it completely and totally differently,” she says.
What exactly she would do differently she couldn't say, but that will be the subject of an independent review next year.
In the meantime, Associate Education Minister Craig Foss says work will continue.
“Progress is still being made, we're still not there yet, and the heat’s still on everyone involved,” he says.
Calls to education unions haven't dropped off, and there are still 800 queries or complaints unanswered by the ministry.
Teachers and staff should brace themselves for more glitches as with three months down, Ms Longstone says there are still nine to go until all parts of the system are put to the test.
“There are different bits of the system that are used at different parts of the year so it will take a full year to go through the different parts of the system,” she says.
Novopay operator Talent2 will be fined by the ministry for failing to live up to expectations.
The amount of the fine is confidential but the money will just be fed back into the system, which is already set to cost the Government $100 million.
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30/11/2012 5:46:43 p.m.
Zalina Abd Rahman wrote:
I just got a bill for $747.49 from Novopay after they said they have overpaid me by mistake. They say I must pay it back fortnightly or in one shot. I can afford neither. They can take it from my future pay because I am not paying for their incompetence.
29/11/2012 10:32:05 p.m.
TESTER NZ wrote:
Reply To MIKE wrote:
Lets identify where the problems are coming from.
- He needs to get his facts right - Stupid comments.
Has he tried using the system.
Has he read any of the Bugs in the system.?
Wonder what talent he has got? bit better than Talent 2 by the sounds of it ....marginally
29/11/2012 8:15:39 p.m.
I agree with Rachel - the majority of issues are with pays for support staff - teacher aides, admin staff, etc. These are the staff that depend on their holiday pay for Christmas as they are not highly paid. Errors this week in our payroll so I am not confident that holiday pays will be processed correctly and on time. Mike is missing the mark when suggesting that the data entry is to blame - I know that the hours I entered for one of our staff were correct and yet she was paid double the hours for that particular day. How can the blame be placed on administrators at schools??
29/11/2012 8:47:55 a.m.
PS Mike's comments are idiotic, he doesn't work with Novopay - has no idea how it works or what we have to do to make it work - and framing has nothing to do with this at all - ignorant and irrelevant comments just add to the massive stress and less than helpful to say the least.....
29/11/2012 8:41:29 a.m.
A couple of major points that seem to be frequently missed about this debacle;
1. MOST of my school's employees are NOT teachers and most of the problems are with those people's pay - cleaners, caretakers, groundstaff, tea lady, office support etc etc - MOST teachers actually ARE being paid correctly and DO NOT have holiday pay coming.
2. People due Holiday pay are term-time only workers as above who are NOT teachers. Indications are that this part of the payment cycle is going to be a HUGE mess with many many mistake.
3. We are NOT stupid, and would work with the system if it would work for us. There are so many glitches in the electronic interface that we HAVE to use what they call "workarounds' to get items actions, which often involves sending in paper - not because we want to, we have NO OTHER CHOICE!
4. There are new errors every few days - they fix one thing, and break four more - we have to spend time letting them know and trying to unravel what has gone wrong - the WHOLE system is HUGELY unstable.
28/11/2012 10:50:36 p.m.
Doesn't add up wrote:
A 30Million dollar system costing 100 million dollars the same economics John Key uses to justify stuffing NZ.
28/11/2012 10:03:21 p.m.
Why do we have politicians that know nothing about their portfolios? No experience or knowledge other than interest. Popularity and logic have become so far apart in NZ politics, it's becoming like a provincial schoolyard.
28/11/2012 9:32:24 p.m.
How can they say things are getting better? This last pay our school had more deducted from the bank account to cover payroll than what was stated on our Novopay payroll report. Helpdesk can't tell us why. Also suddenly, after being paid at the correct pay scale for the last 10 Months, one of our teachers has been paid as "untrained" this time. Not to mention we still have 2 staff members waiting on their holiday pay after their contracts finished in September. Earlier issues that have been submitted to Novopay helpdesk have been "closed" without being resolved. We have to re-send to get them back in the system as current jobs.
28/11/2012 9:32:06 p.m.
Common Sense wrote:
Dear education ministry, remove Nova pay , reinstate the old system until you can be sure all problems are fixed . Our teachers are the back bone for our kids , they are the ones that deserve the focus of our teachers, not stressing and worrying about if their pay is there or if they can meet the mortgage or have to borrow until they can be fixed up . Come on they are important dont treat them this way
28/11/2012 9:12:51 p.m.
lucky the GOVT didnt spend a fortune on the new pay system, allowing for minimal pay rises for teachers in the process
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