If you’re a relief teacher (like me), you’ll be opening your pay-slip this evening and wondering if you are getting paid the full amount for your teaching efforts over the last fortnight. I’m hopeful I have been since most of that fortnight was school holidays and I’m not expecting Novopay to pay me for cleaning the mould off my bedroom ceiling (see post from 2 weeks ago).
If you are not a teacher you won’t really have any idea what or who Novopay are. Let me break it down (not in the hip-hop styles though). National-led regime want to save money. Education Ministry highlight payroll as possible source of savings. Tender put out. Novopay hired for $30 million. Novopay now pays teacher, support staff and principal’s wages.
Here is a link to a Campbell Live item highlighting the issues Novopay has created. If you don’t want to watch, that’s fine. Reporter Lachlan Forsyth visited a couple of schools who told him about their issues. One woman has spent a total of 40 hours on hold – she could be working on other stuff. I know our Deputy Principal has become a payroll clerk who sometimes gets out and about to say hi, but not very often.
The other telling thing from this interview is the fact that the system, that pays around 110,000 people every fortnight was not tested before it was implemented because the education payroll is “too complex.”
This is complete nonsense. How could they bring in something this massive in without testing it first? Oh, that’s right, they’re a government department.
The last thing that annoys me about this whole Novopay debacle is the PR spin rubbish that is spouting from the mouths of the ministry (and the minister if she ever dares open her mouth again). Rather than admitting many, many schools and staff are suffering around New Zealand they are just accentuating the positive. “We have less than 100 errors in pay this time, and next time we expect it to be less.” Weasel words. Nobody seems to be able to admit anything these days. They all want to hide behind the positive spin fed to them by the former journo they hired. It’s very, very poor.
Not, however, as bad as John Key taking time out of his morning interview on Firstline to attack the person who discovered the huge hole in the Ministry of Social Development database. He decided to do this rather than accepting some kind of responsibility for his ultimately poor stewardship of his ministers. Just plain useless. Can we have some kind of national standards for politicians and central government bureaucrats please?
Until next time.
ADDENDUM: Here’s a link to a Radio New Zealand news item from this morning regarding Novopay frustrations.