14,470 teachers owed about $11.8m in wages

Last updated 05:00 02/02/2013

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The much-maligned Novopay system now owes almost $12 million to teachers who have not been paid.

The figures comes from the monthly Novopay debt ledger, released under the Official Information Act.

As of January 6, 14,470 teachers were owed about $11.8m in wages.

The Ministry of Education has been forced to pay almost $2.5m in manual payments, made when the Novopay system fails to pay teachers and their school requests a manual payment. Schools have paid almost $700,000 manual payments to their staff to compensate for Novopay.

However, 532 teachers have been overpaid by more than $600,000.

Of that amount, about $336,000 has not been paid back to Novopay.

The $29m system has been plagued with problems since it was launched last August.

It was revealed this week that bulk payments, to make up for weeks of not being paid, were pushing teachers into new tax brackets, leaving them out of pocket and unable to recoup money until filing a tax return at the end of the financial year.

Child-support payments were not reaching some recipients.

Payments were not being made to the ACC, superannuation funds, KiwiSaver and student loans, despite being taken out of wages and listed on payslips.

Teachers were losing thousands from being struck down the 12-step pay grade by a system "fix" and have to go to great lengths to prove their identity to have their pay readjusted.

Ministry group manager for education workforce Rebecca Elvy said this week that "initial problems involving payments to third parties such as the IRD had now been resolved.

"The ministry has assured schools that all payments have been processed. No-one will have been financially disadvantaged." Fairfax NZ

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- The Dominion Post

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