Schools differ over Novopay

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2013

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At least one South Canterbury high school principal has no confidence in the error-plagued Novopay teacher payment system, though others have expressed cautious optimism that the problems will be resolved.

The system has suffered 8000 errors since its introduction last year.

Prime Minister John Key this week tasked cabinet minister Stephen Joyce with sorting out the issues.

The Secondary Principals Association came out this week asking schools whether they had confidence in the system. The vote would be known before the next pay round in a couple of weeks.

It warned the Government could face a backlash if it ignored an overwhelming vote of no confidence.

Mountainview High School principal Derek Friend said he had no confidence and would be surprised if any principals did.

He was expecting major problems in the start-of-year pay cycle.

"I'd love to be proved wrong." For schools, resolving the issues was taking time and resources away from other areas.

"There is no acknowledgment . . . of just how much work has been involved for people and it's almost as if schools are just going to have to sort it out in the best way they can." The system should never have gone live while errors were still occurring, he said.

Timaru Girls' High School principal Sarah Davis said she was "cautiously optimistic" the problems could be resolved.

"The glitches we've had have been minor in the big picture, but still [it's] time and effort that we'd prefer to be putting in other places. "We do accept that there needed to be a revamp of the system. We accept that there are lots of bits and pieces in the background that we don't know.

"[But] we're keen to know that the review . . . is going to mean that there's going to be changes sooner or later." Craighead Diocesan School acting principal Wayne Pahl said he would wait to see what the survey said before deciding on a response. He said Novopay "has its moments".

The glitches were not "major things" but were time-consuming.

"It's the time it takes is the problem. It adds to the workload." Opihi College principal Mike Wright said it was "fair to say . . . it does give us cause for concern".

"[It is] occupying a lot of time for myself and administration staff."

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- The Timaru Herald

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