5 Mar 2013

Novopay minister sympathises with protesters

9:20 pm on 5 March 2013

The minister in charge of Novopay, Steven Joyce, says he can sympathise with teachers, parents and school staff who rallied to protest the system, but the Government is doing all it can to fix the problems.

Novopay has been plagued with thousands of errors since its introduction in August last year, with underpayments, overpayments or no payments at all to some teaching staff.

About 1500 people picketed the offices of 35 government ministers throughout New Zealand on Tuesday demanding that more be done to fix it.

However, Mr Joyce said the Government is already doing all it can to bring the error rate down.

The minister said he would announce a decision within the next few weeks about whether the Government would push ahead with plans to fix Novopay or revert to the old pay system.

Mr Joyce said he would also announce extra support for schools affected by errors in Novopay, but is not sure if that support will include more money.

College calls for admin help

Epsom Girls Grammar's deputy principal said on Tuesday schools need administrative help with Novopay soon and the Government should fund it.

Fiona Cottam said Novopay minister Steven Joyce needs to arrange payroll assistants in schools. She said a fulltime assistant would ease the pressure on teachers and staff while software problems are fixed.

Ms Cottam said the Auckland college has had to loan $50,000 in wages to unpaid teachers so far.

The Educational Institute organised the protests and said 23 administrative staff at schools have resigned due to Novopay.