10 Sep 2012

Schools assured next pay cycle will be trouble-free

8:34 pm on 10 September 2012

A group of teacher and school representatives have been assured by the Ministry of Education that the next pay cycle under a new payroll system will run perfectly.

Some 90,000 staff should have been paid in the first cycle of the Novopay system last Wednesday, but more than 5000 were underpaid and at least 55 people not paid at all.

There were also problems with teachers not being able to open their pay slips and the Novopay call centre was unable to keep up with complaints.

A meeting between the ministry, teacher groups and the payroll company was held on Monday.

Sandy Pasley from the Secondary Principals' Association attended and says they were told the ministry is committed to making an effective payroll system and the faults will not be repeated in the next cycle.

Ms Pasley, the principal of Baradene College, says there is not much time to fix the problems as the next pay is due on Wednesday next week.

She says four of her teachers who were not paid on Wednesday, also missed out on Friday.

Meanwhile, the principal of Ashburton College hopes that extra costs incurred by schools due to errors will be reimbursed.

Grant McMillan says what normally took three hours for support staff to process is now taking more than 40 hours under the new web-based system.

Mr McMillan says Novopay reports are constantly being returned with errors - and if this continues over coming weeks, the extra wages bill could be up to $6000.