8 Jan 2013

Education officials scramble a Novopay review

5:59 pm on 8 January 2013

Ministry of Education officials say preparation for an independent review of the Novopay school payroll system is being done as quickly as possible.

New figures show that 581 people have been paid under the Novopay system on behalf of schools they did not work for, and almost eight thousand have been underpaid or not paid at all.

Schools have advanced teachers a total of $560,000 to cover Novopay mistakes.

The Principals' Federation has written to the Auditor General, asking that an urgent review take place sooner than the one the ministry has planned for April.

A ministry spokeperson, Rebecca Elvy, says work on the planned review's terms of reference is already underway.

The Secondary Principals Association is to consider whether to hold a vote of no confidence on Novopay at the start of the school year

Association president Patrick Walsh said it does not seem as though the system will be fixed anytime soon.

He said the result of the vote will be given to Education Minister Hekia Parata.

Since the new payroll system was introduced in August 7899 people have been underpaid or not paid at all.

The Principals Federation wants an immediate review by the Auditor General.

President Phil Harding told Summer Report the software needs to be tested properly after fixes are introduced.

He said the errors are snowballing and the software needs to be tested properly to check that further mistakes are not introduced.

Compensation wanted by union

The primary school teachers' union, the NZEI, said the Government must compensate schools struggling to sort out errors with the payroll system.

National secretary Paul Goulter said teachers had been advanced more than $500,000 to cover missing pay.

Mr Goulter said the union believes that figure is conservative.