Teachers protest in street
Garin College teachers took to the streets in protest against continuing Novopay problems this morning.
About 30 teaching staff staged a protest at the Champion Rd roundabout, in front of the school, before classes started.
Sue Roughton, who represents Garin staff on the PPTA, said the protest was an effective way to raise awareness in the community about the school staff's ongoing pay issues.
Principal John Boyce was seen standing in solidarity with his staff this morning, though he said he was "supporting" not "protesting".
He said yesterday's pay round contained a large number of errors, which added to already high stress levels among school staff.
The school had been forced to hire an extra staff member to try to deal with Novopay issues, while also offering unpaid or underpaid staff wages out of the school's operating budget, Mr Boyce said.
"It is not good enough.
"The issue is that many people make their payday the day mortgages and other payments are taken from their accounts, and if there is no money, they default.
"Not paying people is illegal under the Wages Act. I am not surprised that staff are protesting. I am surprised that the Wages Act has not been invoked and court action taken, probably because of the positive attitude and patience of New Zealand's school staff."
Ms Roughton said a strike was not yet an option. "Staff still really care about teaching our students and being professional.
"There might be some collective action at some stage, but we are not there yet."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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