20 Nov 2012

Ministry promises teachers will get correct holiday pay

8:39 am on 20 November 2012

The Ministry of Education says it will make sure teachers get their correct Christmas pay if there continue to be problems with the new Novopay system.

There have been several complaints about the system since its introduction in August this year, including staff being underpaid or not paid at all.

Schools have to enter the pay instructions into the Novopay system by Wednesday so staff will be paid correctly during the summer holidays.

However, schools are complaining of new problems. Some say they can't enter their instructions into the system.

Schools have been told they can send their instructions using a spreadsheet, but they know Novopay took months to deal with emailed instructions in the first two pay rounds and are worried that the holiday pay will be riddled with errors.

The Ministry of Education's group manager says it will be calling all schools this week to see if they are having any problems and will visit any that are really struggling.

Rebecca Elvy told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Tuesday there are plans in place to for every possible eventuality to make sure people get paid.

"We have plans in place for every possible thing that we can think of that could or could not work or the data might not be entered. But if that's the case, we'll contact those schools, we'll make sure we have the correct pay instructions and we'll make sure that people get paid.

"We are aware that school administrators won't be in their schools during the holidays to provide that information, so we'll make sure we get it before they go on holiday."

Associate Education Minister Craig Foss says he is aware that some schools are having trouble but the Education Ministry says there is no system-wide problem.

Mr Foss says he has told the ministry to call all schools and make sure their pay details are correct and Talent2, the company behind the new system, to give extra help.

The minister says Novopay should work better now that a backlog of pay instructions dating from August and September has been cleared.