14 Nov 2012

Schools report errors in latest Novopay round

9:06 pm on 14 November 2012

School principals say they are still finding errors in the school payroll, despite official assurances problems with the new payroll system, Novopay, are being fixed.

The $30 million system delivered its sixth pay day on Wednesday and schools found new mistakes along with old problems that have still not been resolved.

Principals say there are still problems, especially for relieving staff and non-teaching workers such as caretakers.

However, the Secondary Principals Association says some schools have reported it was better than previous pay days.

The Ministry of Education says there were fewer errors, saying it has been told of fewer than 20 non-payments and under-payments.

It says 494 transactions were not processed in time, but not all missed transactions affect pay.

The school payroll is the largest in the country, with 92,000 employees.

The Secondary Principals Association says secondary schools are preparing to bill the ministry for the extra time they've had to spend dealing with problems caused by the new system.

President Patrick Walsh says the association is collating schools' invoices to send to the ministry.

Christmas assurance from minister

Auckland Primary Principals Association president Jill Corkin says they are also worried there will be problems with holiday pay at the end of the year.

Associate Minister of Education Craig Foss says he has been assured teachers will get their Christmas pay.

Mr Foss told Morning Report the Ministry of Education has assured him that all personnel will be paid as they should be at the end of the year.

He says teachers have the right to be paid properly and he understands many have no faith in the new system.

Mr Foss says the company is paying the price for its mistakes. He says while the financial penalty that Talent2 will pay is commercially confidential, it is paying for the errors.

Principal says officials, company 'don't get it'

Principals Federation vice-president Phil Harding says the ministry and Novopay don't seem to understand the scale of the problems being caused by the new system.

He says schools will feel confident about the new system only when they see the information they enter into it, resulting in correct reports and correct pay.

Mr Harding says schools should receive some financial compensation.