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Please hold, your call is unimportant to us…

Chris Hipkins
Acting Education Spokesperson

7 February 2013

Please hold, your call is unimportant to us…

The Government knew that the Novopay service centre was not up to the job before the botched teachers’ pay system went live, says Chris Hipkins, Labour’s acting Education spokesperson.

An independent audit of the Novopay service centre last August found that half of the phone calls made to it were answered incorrectly, as was half the paperwork submitted to it.

“So not only did the Government know there were more than 140 established problems with Novopay when it was introduced, they also knew that the support available to schools was a joke.

“And it is not like it has gotten any better. Since the start of the new school year, the typical waiting time for school staff trying to get help from the Novopay call centre has been more than 10 minutes. On the 31st of January it was a staggering 29 minutes. That’s huge waste of time and money for schools.

“The school payroll might be a complicated beast, but surely after all this time the contractor Talent2 and the Ministry of Education could get a simple call centre to work?

“Perhaps Steven Joyce could take some time out of his busy day spent trying to deny that there is an unemployment problem, to bang a few heads together and get the Novopay call centre answering calls in a reasonable time.

“The Government and Talent2 created this mess. The very least they can do is help schools clean up after them,” says Chris Hipkins.


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