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Novopay problems threaten to derail new school year

Published: 7:59PM Monday January 21, 2013 Source: ONE News

Schools are bracing themselves for more problems with Novopay just days out from another education pay round.

With many new school staff joining the pay roll and some big issues showing up on pay reports, worries about Novopay's competence are second only to schools' concerns about their budgets.

At Mount Eden Normal School in Auckland, the balance available for spending on staff has swung from $10,000 in credit, to tens of thousands in debt.

"You can either go on your data and that's what we're going to do," Mount Eden Normal principal John Faire told ONE News.

"The other option is that you could become very conservative and say, I'm going to understaff until this is sorted out, but you're disadvantaging children in that sense," Mount Eden Normal principal John Faire told ONE News.

Many parents sympathise with education staff who have faced months of pay problems since Novopay took over the school payroll.

"It must be frustrating for them and if it takes their minds away from teaching - if they're worried about getting paid for their week's work - well then it has gotta be a distraction," parent Chris Lodge said.

Other concerns include the more than 6000 reported overpayments that add up to more than half a million dollars.

"That's a lot of money and potentially has a big impact on those people, has a big impact on the schools they work for and has a big impact overall on the payroll system," said Labour's spokesperson for education, Chris Hipkins.