Novopay 'Black Out' protest

School staff across the country will be at work today dressed in black to mark what the Post Primary Teachers' Association is calling a ''Black Out Day'' for teachers nationally.

Today marks the beginning of the second year of Novopay and its woes, and PPTA president Angela Roberts said claims by Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce that most staff were now getting paid properly were ''deeply disingenuous'' and the issues were being ''blacked out''.

In August, Mr Joyce said the backlog of 12,000 pay instructions had been cleared, but Ms Roberts said that was not the case.

''I can assure you, that backlog of issues is most definitely not clear,'' Ms Roberts said. Mr Joyce's ''glossing over'' of the issue had left many teachers still struggling with pay issues and feeling they had been forgotten, she said.

''To show that is not the case, some teachers in affected schools will be taking part in a `Black Out Day', dressing in black to protest at the way the minister has blacked out their issues.''

Teachers in schools throughout the country had chosen to do the same, to stand in solidarity with their colleagues, Ms Roberts said.

''Novopay is not fixed, and it's not OK,'' Ms Roberts said.

Otago Primary Principals' Association president Whetu Cormick said many schools around the region continued to report unresolved pay errors.

''Three weeks ago, a Novopay staff member told me they had 13,000 tickets to attend to.

''Bathgate Park still has overpayment errors from December 2012 to be resolved.

''Day to day, the system is OK, but the fact all these errors are still unresolved is outrageous,'' Ms Roberts said.

The PPTA is waiting for a court date to be set for a group legal action on behalf of members, against the secretary for education for failing in his statutory duty to pay teachers.

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

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