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Minister angry about teacher pay problems

Wednesday 14 Nov 2012 3:56 p.m.

Craig Foss

Craig Foss

The Government has lost patience with the company running the chaotic teachers' pay system.

The error-ridden payrolls were supposed to be fixed by Wednesday but there are reports of ongoing problems.

"This is totally unsatisfactory," Associate Education Minister Craig Foss told reporters. "What has made me pretty angry is the lack of delivery on commitments and assurances that I had been given."

Mr Foss says the company running the Novopay system, Talent2, has "dropped the ball in a big way and the ministry is discussing some pretty serious issues with it".

Labour is blaming Mr Foss for the problems that have plagued the system since it was launched two months ago, but Prime Minister John Key says they aren't the minister's fault.

"Craig is doing a good job, the buck stops with Talent2," he said.

"They need to throw resources at this and fix the problems."

Mr Key says penalty clauses in Novopay's contract are being considered and "the capability is there" for them to be invoked.

Auckland Primary Principals' Association president Jill Corkin says her school's pay report shows new errors this week, and not much progress has been made on issues with payments over the past two months.

Jacque Ruston, a secretary at Dunedin's Purakaunui school, says she hasn't been paid since starting work in August, and had to take out loans to cover costs.

The ministry has put in place a procedure for schools to use their operating budget to pay any staff who missed out on their salary so they "shouldn't suffer economically", and Mr Foss has received assurances that holiday pay will go through on time.


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