6 Feb 2013

Hundreds of calls over latest Novopay round

11:15 pm on 6 February 2013

A special call centre set up to deal with pay problems for teachers and school support staff' logged hundreds of calls on Wednesday.

Ministry of Education staff were brought in on the Waitangi Day public holiday because of expected difficulties with the latest pay round.

Ministry spokesperson Rebecca Elvy says staff took about 260 calls to 2pm and Novopay logged more than 80 calls at its call centre.

Ms Elvy says most calls involved staff who were not paid or were significantly underpaid.

She says the ministry is processing 60 direct payments, which were going into bank accounts on Wednesday despite it being a public holiday.

She says direct payments can also be made on Thursday.

Ms Elvy says errors with the latest pay cycle are expected to run into the many hundreds.

A report is being compiled over the coming days on the pay round for the Government minister dealing with Novopay, Steven Joyce.

The $30 million school payroll system developed by Australian company Talent2 has been plagued with thousands of errors since it was introduced in August 2012 with underpayments, overpayments or no payments at all to some teaching staff.

Secondary Principals Association president Patrick Walsh said he did not believe the hotline team would be able to deal with the sheer volume of problems from this week's round.

"In addition to that, of course, they're still waiting to fix all the problems that were alerted before Christmas."

Feedback received from principals suggests this week's pay is among the most error-ridden to date, he says.