15 January 2013
Yet another major Novopay error revealed
School principals are faced with yet another major Novopay headache – this time over errors in the way the payroll system is calculating and reconciling school staffing for the year.
NZEI Te Riu Roa National Secretary Paul Goulter says the Ministry of Education payroll reports that principals use to calculate and track their staffing levels have been mucked up in at least the past three pay periods.
These reports, known as the Banking Staffing Reports, allow schools to adjust their staffing across the year to ensure that they are using the teaching resource in the most efficient way.
“Schools use these reports to manage their staffing levels in order to ensure that they have employed the correct number of staff, including relievers, over an entire year. In a way, it’s a game of unders and overs. There may be some weeks where a school is not employing the full number of staff but will employ more staff later in the year as needs arise.
“This is a complex system but it allows schools to be flexible and efficient with staff. However, it’s vital that schools are able to reconcile their own calculations with the correct payroll information.
“If a principal gets those calculations wrong, it can be serious for that school. If they haven’t employed enough teachers over a year then students have been short changed but if they have employed too many then they will have a funding shortfall.
“Now the Ministry of Education, in a recent email to schools, is saying that the payroll information reports are inaccurate. One principal – with a staff of forty, was originally told he was four teachers under, and now Novopay is telling him he’s six teachers over. Clearly this could have huge implications for his school finances.
“Once again, principals are left with a muddle on their hands thanks to another systemic Novopay error. And this is particularly stressful going into a new year.”