Secondary Principals' Association president Patrick Walsh
said the ministry should pay the invoices immediately for
the sake of goodwill. Photo / Andrew Warner
Secondary schools have not seen a cent of their share of
$1.197 million compensation after they invoiced the Ministry of
Education for the extra hours payroll administrators spent
working on the flawed Novopay payroll system.
APNZ obtained information under the Official Information Act
showing the ministry received 255 invoices from schools and
school support staff for extra costs generated from
administering payment errors.
The information also revealed school staff were owed $12
million as of the January 9 pay cycle.
The Secondary Principal's Association president Patrick Walsh
said the ministry should pay the invoices immediately.
"We think those bills ought to be paid as a gesture of
goodwill - they haven't ruled them out but Minister Joyce has
said he wants to park that up until he solves the problems,
but it does seem to us that we've had seven months of pain
and we've got many more months of pain to come - the issue of
compensation needs to be addressed now.
"Let's try and get some goodwill back for schools," said Mr
Schools have not received compensation but in addition today
(Wed) they have faced one of the worst days of errors in the
six month history of Novopay.
Principal of Hora Hora School in Whangarei, Pat Newman, said
this time the errors had extended to principals' pay.
"Myself along with every other principal in New Zealand were
due to go up a grade level due to roll growth - but this
hasn't been actioned, even though Talent2 had been instructed
by the ministry of the full list of those principals and to
action it," said Mr Newman.
Principals not being paid was one of a raft of new problems
that Minister in charge of Novopay Steven Joyce signalled
would plague the worst pay round since Novopay was launched
in August last year.
He warned schools to brace themselves for what would be the
toughest test on the system yet because of the changes to
secondary teachers' pay rates as a result of the new
secondary teachers collective agreement.
Mr Joyce described trying to fix the problems with Novopay
as, "trying to change they tyre on the car when you're
driving along the motorway at 100km/h".
He also described it as a "dog, with a few fleas".
The ministry hotline would take calls from school staff who
can't contact school administration staff on Waitangi Day.
Mr Walsh preferred the description "a dead cat bouncing".
He said he didn't think the hotline would cater to the
complexities school staff would phone in with.
He said the problems with Novopay would accelerate and there
was no end in sight.
"The ministry report says this could go on for two years."
"Novopay has become a toxic brand in New Zealand and I think
although we have to wait for a technical audit, it's probably
done its day and they need to seriously look at another