2 November 2012
Novopay training timing a joke – PPTA
Schools crying out for help after the botched Novopay payroll system created a massive workload increase have been given just a days’ notice of a ministry training roadshow.
Schools were sent notice of the “end of year/start of year Novopay roadshows” yesterday. Wellington’s sessions – at Porirua College and Hutt Intermediate – are being run today. Venues and times for the rest of the country were only confirmed this morning.
PPTA general secretary Kevin Bunker said the union had been repeatedly approached by schools already at their wits end because of the huge and complex additional workload staff had been ill prepared for. “School staff and deputy principals are having to put the rest of their jobs aside and simply deal with Novopay,” he said.
Bunker criticised the ministry and Talent 2 (the company behind Novopay) for “an appalling lack of notice.”
“It shows very little understanding of how schools work and smacks of last minute planning. Schools need to organise for teachers to be freed from the classroom to attend these sessions and that is no small thing. This is an extraordinarily busy time of year for everyone in schools and to simply drop other priorities for this activity is thoughtless and inconsiderate,” he said.
Bunker also did not see any offer to follow the normal practice of relief funding for staff that would be absent. “Talent 2 is not doing schools a favour by letting them provide free labour on its proprietary profit-making payroll system. School employees are not indentured servants to Novopay.
“The ministry of education needs to find out nationally how many hours of employee time this is taking and then look at how it can recompense schools on an ongoing basis,” he said.
Particularly galling was the fact that, while teachers were having their pay botched and schools were essentially working for free, four anonymous members on the Novopay board were taking home up to $1700 per meeting. Information released under the official information act revealed the names of the ministry and Talent 2 management members, but the names of four “permanent external members” remain secret.
“We need to find out who these people are and they need to be held accountable,” Bunker said.