Principals fume at Novopay shambles

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 12:07 11/02/2013

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Novopay provider Talent2 "should be taken to the cleaners", says Waikanae School principal Bevan Campbell after another botched pay last week.

Five staff received incorrect pay on Tuesday in the first major pay cycle for the new year, with an additional 16 staff affected by unresolved issues.

Staff are still attempting to resolve overpayments totalling $38,000 paid over three pay periods leading up to Christmas.

Mr Campbell spent more than an hour on hold while attempting to call the Novopay hotline on Thursday, after Waikanae School's designated payroll clerk was mysteriously "thrown out of the system".

"[The government] should ditch it and go to a new provider," he said.

"Take those guys to court and clean them out of every cent they've got, individually and collectively, that would be my approach."

New Zealand Educational Institute Kapiti branch vice- president Jim Swift said last week's pay round would likely create more problems than previous rounds with new staff and current staff starting back after the Christmas holidays.

He said the ministry should provide compensation to schools to cover the costs of solving Novopay problems, as principals have enough to worry about.

"We haven't seen any contingencies by the government. I think schools will probably appreciate something like that . . . because it is taking up more time," he said.

"Principals are either working in the weekend or senior office administrators are working extra hours, and the school is either paying for those extra hours or the office administrator is doing it for nothing, and either is not acceptable."

Ministry of Education Novopay spokesperson Rebecca Elvy says the first pay after school resumes is always a challenging time, and more issues were expected this year because of the new Novopay system.

"We've been working hard with Talent2 to address problems schools have alerted us to with this payroll, but that won't have picked up every issue," she said.

"We know that the recent months have been frustrating and difficult for school payroll administrators and school staff, and I want to thank them for their perseverance as we work through these issues."

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