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Education Ministry sees sense over payroll unit review

Education Ministry sees sense over payroll unit review

The Public Service Association is pleased that the Ministry of Education has seen sense and agreed to delay a planned review of its payroll services unit.

The Ministry had put out a restructuring proposal to staff in the midst of the Novopay debacle which would see the number of positions in the unit reduced from 23 to 14.

The PSA criticised the timing of the review, saying it was illogical and insensitive, and requested that it be delayed.

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says staff have now been told that the review will not go ahead until April next year at the earliest and until the Novopay system is running smoothly.

“It’s a shame that staff had to be put through unnecessary stress but it’s good to see the Ministry acknowledging the extraordinarily poor timing of the review and agreeing to put it on the back burner for a while. It’s a victory for common sense.”

“It will provide some much-needed breathing space for staff who have been putting in long, stressful hours, to concentrate on sorting out Novopay’s problems and preparing for the big Christmas payroll.”

The Ministry has said it will launch another formal consultation period about the review before any changes are finalised.

Brenda Pilott says that’s also welcome news as payroll staff were given just two weeks earlier this month to give their feedback on the original restructuring proposal.

“They had expressed concern that they’d had too little time to respond to the review because they were too busy dealing with all the Novopay issues,” she says.

The Education Ministry says restarting the review will depend on the progress of Novopay next year.

“The Ministry must be fair to staff and only undertake the review once Novopay is well and truly bedded in. Given the scale of the problems so far, the timing could be anyone’s guess,” Brenda Pilott says.

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