17 Oct 2012

Teachers, principals still upset by new pay system

7:06 pm on 17 October 2012

Secondary principals and primary teachers say it's absurd for the Ministry of Education to claim the new payroll system for school staff has no systemic problems.

The ministry says all but 10 staff have been paid in this week's pay round - but teachers say many more have been paid incorrectly.

The Novopay system has been dogged by errors since it was introduced two months ago, with many staff underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.

The ministry says there were a similar number of errors under the old system as the new and it's not uncommon for some errors to occur with a payroll of more than 90,000 people.

The Secondary Principals' Association says it feels like the ministry is trying to pass on the blame to staff. Its president, Patrick Walsh, says that would agitate and upset staff who've worked hard to try to make the new system work.

Mr Walsh says the ministry needs to take the matter seriously.

'It just goes on and on'

The secretary of the primary teachers' union NZEI, Paul Goulter, says the union has been inundated by complaints from all over the country about all four of the past pay cycles.

Mr Goulter says there are more than 30 systemic issues including some teachers not getting holiday pay and problems with maternity pay.

"Enquiries aren't acknowledged," he says, "and everyone's complaining about the lack of resourcing inside the Novopay system... It just goes on and on. So if that's not systemic, I don't know what systemic means."

The School Executive Officers' Association says there have still been a few errors for relief teachers and those taking leave without pay.

The association's president, Chris Johnston, says similar mistakes happened under the previous system as well.