Novopay legal action

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 14:10 26/02/2013

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At least 23 school staff have resigned as a direct result of Novopay and a teachers' union is taking legal action against the Government for the stress and financial burden caused by the dysfunctional system.

The Post Primary Principals' Association (PPTA) has announced it is launching a group legal action on behalf of its members due to the ''untold stress and personal financial instability'' Novopay - the new education payroll system - has caused.

President Angela Roberts said the association would be seeking compensation for its members and was currently exploring legal options.

''We are discussing the issue with our lawyers while we collect data and prepare witness statements.''

The news comes as the New Zealand Principals' Federation released survey results to the ifWaikato Timesnf that show at least 23 school staff across the country have quit because of Novopay.

''We've had 1100 responses, which is about half our members, and at the moment the number of staff that have resigned is sitting around 23,'' president Philip Harding said.

''You could effectively just about double that and extrapolate it and make a guess that upwards of 40 people have now given up their jobs because of Novopay.''

The survey did not specify which staff had resigned but he suspected it was mostly executive officers and payroll staff.

''We're certainly getting anecdotal feedback that the stress and pressure's breaking people's hearts and the number of times that someone's emailed me to say that their staff are in tears would just stagger you. It's just widespread.

''It is quite clear to me from principals' emails and phone conversations that schools are in crisis over this. It's just out of control.

''I think the cumulative effect of that is that people are resigning.''

Mr Harding said it didn't come as a shock to him at all and expected the number would exceed 50.

Ms Roberts said the PPTA's national executive agreed on legal action at a meeting over the weekend.

''Members' patience and goodwill has all but run out. Continued Novopay errors mean schools, students, principals and administration staff are at the end of their tether.

''We invite members who have suffered emotionally or financially through being paid incorrectly or not at all to get on board with the action.''

Members can join the collective action by contacting PPTA either directly or through a survey.

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- Waikato

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