15 Feb 2013

Association draws flak for Novopay memo

12:50 pm on 15 February 2013

Principals say it's unfair of the School Trustees Association to ask schools to be more considerate of those answering phones for the Novopay helpline.

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.

A memo was sent to schools last week asking them to show restraint when dealing with the call centre staff.

Waikato Primary Principals Association president John Coulam says the request is frustrating.

"They ask us to show restraint, but what are they doing to support those working in schools and ensuring that the board's providing a safe emotional environment?

"There are people cracking under this pressure."

Mr Coulam, also principal of Marion Catholic school in Hamilton, says the association should be asking the Government for money to fund schools to deal with the ongoing shambles, and to relieve pressure by pushing out deadlines for charters and annual plans.

Association president Lorraine Kerr says she is hoping to discuss those issues with Acting Education Secretary Peter Hughes on Monday.

She told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme says she is not confident of the results of the meeting. "But that doesn't mean we don't keep gnawing at the heels of the powers that be," she said.

Ms Kerr says the office of the Auditor-General is also looking into school audits and how to pay extra costs thrown up by the mess Novopay has become.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2546523/principals-fume-over-sta-memo-on-novopay.asx Listen to full coverage on Nine to Noon