29 November 2012
Longstone scapegoats collective over Novopay blunder
Imagine what would happen if the already shambolic Novopay system had to deal with a hundred thousand individual contracts – the result would quite simply be chaos.
Yet the very collective agreements that provide the system with order and commonality are being attacked by a secretary for education searching for a scapegoat, PPTA general secretary Kevin Bunker says.
Attempts by Lesley Longstone to pin problems in the payroll system – also known by teachers as Novopain, No-pay and Novovirus – on the collective agreement smacked of desperation, particularly since it was the teachers on the agreement who were having the least problems with their pay, he said.
“The secretary is looking to blame the collective agreement rather than face the fact it was blatant cost-cutting that led to the mess the payroll system is in.”
It appeared Talent2 – the company behind the Novopay system – thought it could cut staffing costs by shifting a huge amount of work onto schools while providing erratic and inadequate training and no funding at all.
The company then capped off an already unacceptable situation by providing schools with a system that did not deliver, Bunker said.
“Under conditions like these there were always going to be more than ‘a few teething problems’,” he said.
PPTA welcomed the independent review into the scheme’s implementation announced by the ministry and appreciated the secretary stepping up for school staff being unfairly blamed for faults in the system.
However trying to pin the pay problems on the collective process was just pointless and inaccurate scapegoating, he said.