An education union has called for an urgent inquiry into the
Novopay payroll system following recent revelations of a
security breach as well as ongoing teacher pay problems,
since its introduction three months ago.
Marshall Laing Primary School in Auckland was briefly able to
access the confidential details of another school, which
follows months of pay issues for teachers and support staff.
Associate Education Minister Craig Foss told Radio New
Zealand today the security breach was a one-off and because
of human error in entering an incorrect school code.
NZEI Te Riu Roa national secretary Paul Goulter said there
needed to be accountability and an assurance the problems
would not be repeated.
"Principals, teachers and support staff need a guarantee from
the Secretary of Education that this fiasco can be fixed and
the system up and running by next payroll date.
"We need to put a deadline on this because schools are about
to begin working out end-of-year payments and it seems that
the problems are compounding."
Mr Goulter said the problems plaguing Novopay had caused
stress to schools and staff.
"Now the latest security issues around teachers' pay details
are further indications that there are ongoing and serious
"Clearly the $30 million pay system was not ready and
properly tested before it was introduced and the Ministry of
Education can no longer continue to downplay these problems."
Prime Minister John Key today said it was essential to bring
in the Novopay system because the previous system was
"effectively falling over".
"Novopay was late, so that made the situation even worse and
then there are about three different layers that teachers can
be paid at.
"So a lot of the basic stuff, as I understand it - I could be
wrong - but as I understand it, is happening just fine," he
said on TVNZ's Breakfast show
But he said it was not acceptable that there had been so many
errors with the system.
"I think the vendor here, Talent 2, they are responsible for
the system and we contract them like any other company and
the pressure has to come on them."
Mr Key said if the problems were not fixed, it would probably
face a financial penalty.
Novopay business manager Rebecca Elvy said the payroll
failings were being addressed.
"We've developed a way for relief teachers to follow up their
pay issues without needing to go through the various schools
they work for. "We've made substantial fixes to the reports
schools use to verify their payroll - and we're continuing to
work towards a 100 per cent fix on that issue," Ms Elvy said.