Retail banks across New Zealand have stepped in to help
school staff financially affected by the Novopay debacle.
They are offering school staff interest-free overdrafts in
the wake of continuing problems with the Ministry of
Education's new payroll system, which has left many employees
without pay for up to four months.
New Zealand Bankers' Association chief executive Kirk Hope
said the issue "affects the largest single payroll in the
"It's about helping ensure affected teachers and staff
continue to have access to funds over the holiday period," he
Banks participating in the offer are ANZ New Zealand, ASB
Bank, Bank of New Zealand, the Co-operative Bank, Kiwibank,
SBS Bank, TSB Bank and Westpac New Zealand.
The overdrafts will be valid until January 15, 2013, and
limited to the value of the total amount of payments which
have been delayed.
"I encourage affected school staff to get in touch with their
bank so they know they're covered and can have some peace of
mind over the holidays," Mr Hope said.
One who will not be taking up the offer is Purakaunui School
secretary Jacque Ruston.
Financial relief arrived for her this week when she was
finally paid under the Novopay system.
The single mother of two went unpaid for nearly four months
and relied on bank loans and interest-free loans from friends
to pay her mortgage and other living expenses.
However, the banks' offers could take the pressure off other
frustrated school staff around the region who continue to
Andrew Pearce, a relief teacher working in Dunedin schools,
said he had not been paid for work he did at George Street
Normal School on October 25, October 30 and November 1.
Instead, he was paid for a day's work on November 13 - a day
he did not work there.
"Well, here we are at Pay 18 now, and I still have not been
paid for these days. I guess it's two out of the three that I
am waiting for because November 13 must have been one of
"So once again, I am going to be waiting well over a month to
get paid for days that should have been, and were apparently,
dealt with some time ago.
"I don't think the problems are going away any time soon."
Ministry of Education group manager Rebecca Elvy said the
latest pay round for school staff went smoothly with more
than 92,000 staff paid this week. She believed it was
encouraging to see the steady progress being made with
Ms Elvy said the ministry and Talent2 were working to ensure
all staff were paid as expected for the Christmas period.
"It's great that nearly 90% of schools have now completed the
end-of-year pay process and we are working to support those
who have yet to supply their information through both direct
calls and visits from expert advisers."
She said anyone whose pay was incorrect leading up to
Christmas would be able to contact the ministry to make sure
they received their correct pay "promptly".