Otago teachers 'not ruling out' action

Otago primary school principals have no plans to follow their Auckland counterparts who have decided to halt co-operation with the Ministry of Education on any new initiatives until it resolves problems with the Novopay payroll system.

However, Otago Primary Principals' Association president Brent Caldwell said the region's principals were not ruling out similar action.

Local schools were still focusing on getting their issues solved, and issues clearly highlighting the continuing problems had not been successfully resolved, despite assurances from senior officials, he said.

"The ball is firmly in the ministry's court.

"At the busiest time of the year when teachers, principals and boards are completing National Standards reports, assessments, making appointments, and preparing for productions, camps, and key school events, Novopay is still using words like 'hopefully' when referring to system updates and changes."

Mr Caldwell said schools rightly had concerns about the hours of work that staff were about to put into end-of-year and start-of-year staffing arrangements which may not be correctly dealt with.

"Support and fixed-term staff need to be sure that holiday pay, paid in a lump sum at the end of the year, will actually appear in their bank accounts."

He said yesterday's Ministry of Education and Talent 2 Novopay roadshow at Balmacewen to outline end-of-year and start-of-year arrangements, answered some questions.

However, some parts of the process were still being worked on.

"No collective response has been initiated by Otago principals as yet, but it can't be ruled out," he said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz