Glitch pays Kapiti expat teacher in Aussie

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 15:25 12/11/2012

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Kapiti Observer

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A Kapiti teacher no longer living in New Zealand started getting paid again through the Education Ministry's problem-plagued payroll system.

Otaki College was at a loss last month when a former staff member who had emigrated to Australia reappeared on the payroll.

The ministry's $30 million Novopay system has been plagued with problems since it was introduced in August with errors in more than 8000 teachers' pay.

Otaki College principal John Kane said at least six teachers at the school had been paid incorrectly since the change to Novopay.

"We even had one person, who had left school, who went back on the payroll who's now living in Australia and mysteriously she started getting paid again. We couldn't for the life of us work that out."

He said the issues were slowly getting better but were costing the school money to sort out the paperwork.

"Our executive officer has had to devote far too much of his time to this," he said.

"It's meant that there are other important jobs that need to be done that he's been taken away from and that affects the school."

Kapiti-Otaki Primary Principals' Association Bruce McDonald said most schools around the country were experiencing issues with Novopay.

As Kenakena School principal, he said 40 hours of staff time had gone into fixing errors in staff members' pay.

"Most schools haven't had all their previous problems resolved, even from the first pay period . . . so we're still trying to iron out issues around that."

Secretary for education Lesley Longstone said the ministry was committed to addressing the backlog and "accepts there have been teething issues" moving to the new system.

"The Novopay system is paying the vast majority of staff correctly. However, the ministry acknowledges there are issues that must be addressed."

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- Kapiti Observer

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