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Novopay mire costs every school
No, Novopay: Willowbank School principal Lisa Parish is fed up with Novopay issues.
Photo: BRIDGET RAILTON 627614751
Are you affected by the novopay
education pay roll shambles
What should we do about it at a
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By BRIDGET RAILTON
Willowbank School principal Lisa
Parish has had enough of the
Novopay pay roll shambles that
continues to frustrate education
Mrs Parish's tiny school, with a
staff of one fulltime and three
part-time employees, has felt the
brunt of the system's defects since
''Because I'm a sole-charge princi-
pal, I have the same paperwork as
any other principal, as well as
teaching, and I get one day a week
in the office and half of it is taken
up to chase Novopay,'' she said.
''The job is big enough already.''
Small things like staff getting sent
their pay slips, which used to
happen automatically under the
old system, are an added stress
that is completely unnecessary,''
''I want to know that the people
are getting paid what they deserve
to be paid. I can't [currently]
guarantee that my staff are
getting paid what they should be.
''That's what I really struggle
The results of an online survey
conducted by the New Zealand
Principals' Federation last week
showed that 98 per cent of
principals have no confidence
that Novopay will deliver an
efficient payroll within the next 12
Waikaka School principal Bron-
wyn McCall echoes Mrs Parish's
thoughts and the survey findings.
Novopay issues have been getting
worse at her school, leaving it out-
of-pocket by almost 10 per cent of
its annual budget as the school
scrambles to reimburse under-
paid staff. Former staff members,
who had not been employed by the
school for two years, mysteriously
got paid holiday pay at Christmas
''Up until December we had not
had any any problems,'' McCall
''Since, I have spent about two to
three hours extra each pay run
sorting it out.
''Every one of my staff has been
Gore and Districts Principals'
Association president Antony
Criglington said he was fairly
confident every school in the
district had been affected by
But there had been no formal
meeting of principals in Eastern
Southland, with schools tending
to work in isolation on individual
issues, he said.
Schools are doing the work they
need to do at their end to get their
employees paid properly he said.
''We run around trying to correct
errors, which we should not have
Criglington also knows the Novo-
pay mess is also affecting all
taxpayers after the principals'
federation survey showed that the
problems have cost schools at
least $8 million in unpaid
overtime and interest.
''It's not just my money they are
messing around. It's yours as well.
Millions [have been] spent to
resolve it out of taxpayer money,''
More than 1000 out of 2242 schools
which are members of the
federation responded to the latest
Novopay debacle hits here too
Having his say: Gore High School rector John McKinlay.
Much has been made
of the Novopay
debacle on national
news, but is it any
different in Gore? No.
Examples in our school include
several staff receiving tens of
thousands of dollars extra in
their pay packet --- a Christmas
present perhaps? Someone, who
apparently worked 8000 hours in
one day, whilst another had a
stated pay rate of more than
$217,000 an hour.
Some have been underpaid,
some haven't been paid at all,
some have payslips which say
one amount but the deposit in
their bank is another. Teachers,
support staff, caretakers,
cleaners -- all groups have been
All readers will appreciate how
upsetting it is to have mortgage
payments fail and eftpos cards
declined, only to discover that
you haven't been paid this week.
However, even being overpaid
creates a lot of stress. Taxes,
student loans, union fees,
Kiwisaver and superannuation
payments all have to be
reversed. People overpaid in
December are still waiting for
this to be sorted out nearly two
School staff working in payroll
have been feeling the stress
since well before Christmas.
Their workload has increased
three to five times, they feel
helpless and unsupported, as if
they are working in a vacuum.
They are experienced and
conscientious people who take
pride in getting it right. In their
view, no-one fixes anything, new
issues arise each pay period ---
and they can see no light at the
end of the tunnel.
In my opinion then, Novopay
must go. Teachers and school
employees have lost confidence
in their payroll system. The last
thing we need is a patched-up
system, which is fundamentally
flawed. A lemon is a lemon
however you dress it up.
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