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‘Sacked’ teachers latest in firing line

‘Sacked’ teachers latest in firing line

Two months after Steven Joyce was brought in to fix the shambles that is Novopay, problems with the system are getting worse not better, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“The latest incident - which has seen hundreds of teachers unilaterally given the sack by the government’s payroll provider – is a total disgrace.

“It follows news last week that Novopay provider,Talent2, was using debt collectors to recover money from those who had been overpaid. That the government deemed this heavy-handed approach acceptable, given thousands of people are still being overpaid, underpaid and not paid at all, is truly shocking.

“Responsibility for this mess now rests with Steven Joyce. He either didn’t ask what steps Talent2 were taking to recover the overpaid money - in which case he is incompetent - or he signed it off, in which case he shows absolutely no understanding of the extent of the debacle.

“Mr Joyce speaks of technical reviews and long-term solutions. What he needs to do urgently is deal with the massive problems Novopay is causing in schools right now. Despite seven months of chaos, our schools still aren’t being compensated for all the extra work and stress the problems with Novopay are causing.

“I’ve had reports of schools taking on extra staff just to deal with payroll issues, not hiring relieving teachers when someone is sick because they don’t have the funds left, and cancelling equipment orders because they aren’t confident they’ll be able to pay for them. Yet still Steven Joyce does nothing.

“Of course we need a long-term solution, but Mr Joyce can’t keep turning a blind eye to the turmoil Novopay is causing in the meantime. A comprehensive remediation and compensation package is long overdue. It’s time ‘Mr Fix-it’ delivered one.”


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