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Novopay saga continues: 5000 unpaid

Wednesday 12 Dec 2012 4:13 p.m.

This afternoon, a Central Otago teacher aide sent Campbell Live a copy of her payslip.

We think she might be the best paid teacher aide in the country; normally paid at just over $14 an hour, on December 19 she will receive – according to Novopay – more than $500,000 an hour.

On that same day, she will be docked $62,000 an hour.

That money hasn’t been deposited into her account, but she’s still unable to work out if she has been paid correctly, and the school is worried it will come out of their operations budget.

When we first met Snell’s Beach School principal Jill Corkin to talk about Novopay, she said “they’re not teething problems, they’re monumental”.

It was about the same time the Ministry of Education was saying this:

“We are paying 89,000 people successfully. We’ve done three cycles, we’ve got a fourth one coming up this Wednesday, and we’re really confident we’ll have less than 100 errors this time going forward.”

Around two months earlier, Associate Minister of Education Craig Foss said this:

“I have been given assurances from the Ministry that all holiday pay issues will be sorted.”

So now, three months on, Ms Corkin is saying there is something rotten in the system.

“Some people have made some really major, bad decisions and I think their heads should roll.”

The ministry has offered assurances time and again the Novopay would be sorted. It hasn’t been – it anything, it’s gotten worse.

“If I made decisions like that in this school or the board made decisions like that, that went on for this length of time, we would have been sacked and a commissioner would be in here.”

And it’s not just Ms Corkin – principals around the country can’t believe how bad the system is.

“This pay is the worst, without a doubt,” says Rowandale School Principal Judd McLauchlan.

“The Ministry or the Govt who are telling the public everything is getting better […] it’s a load of rubbish.”

And as for the complete lack of accountability from anyone involved, Ms McLauchlan says she is “disgusted”.

“I’m disgusted in John Key, I’m disgusted in [Education Minister] Hekia Parata, Mr Foss, the whole nine yards of everybody involved behind putting through Talent2.

“People need to be accountable for this. People need to be aware this is creating a lot of hassle, for a lot of really good people doing wonderful things out there for all those beautiful children in our country.

“It’s a disgrace.”

Today, staff received advice from Novopay, which said it had paid 92,000 people last night, including holiday pay, with the exception of about 5000 staff.

Novopay goes on to assure those staff that their holiday pay will be in their accounts by Thursday morning.

“If the employee has received no pay at all, contact the Novopay Service Centre immediately.”

Watch the video for the full report.

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