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Schools Pay Cost of Failed Novopay

Tracey Martin MP

Spokesperson for Education
5 March 2014

Schools Pay Cost of Failed Novopay

The Government is forcing schools into debt to pay for the repeated mistakes of its education payroll system Novopay, says New Zealand First.

“Not only has the Government set debt collectors on teachers and other school staff who have been overpaid, they are now suggesting schools get loans to pay back the money,” says Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Education Tracey Martin.

“One school has a bill of $29,000 after debt collectors failed to find school support staff who had been mistakenly overpaid, so now the Government is demanding the school make the repayments.

“It is neither the school’s fault nor the staff’s fault that the Government cannot get the payments right,” says Ms Martin.

“Schools are now expected to bear the cost of the Novopay shambles. All Finance Minister Bill English could do when asked in Parliament today was to blame what he called the complexity of allowances for teachers and principals.

“By pushing the blame for the payroll debacle on to the teachers’ collective agreement the Minister demonstrates the Government’s indifference to the appalling situation schools and their staff are facing with endless wages mistakes.

“New Zealand First believes that the Minister’s words are a deliberate attempt to soften up the education sector for single base pay structures supplemented by bonus pay allocated on National Standards and National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results.

“The Government’s Novopay system is such a failure it has not even been able to produce a report showing the errors made last year.

“No doubt when it is eventually delivered schools will have to waste their precious time checking it, as they did with the 2012 report which was full of mistakes,” says Ms Martin.

ENDS

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