The Ministry of Education

November 17th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Vernon Small reports at the Dom Post:

Associate Education Minister Craig Foss has slated the Education Ministry for plans to sack nine of the staff dealing with the Novopay debacle once the troubled teachers’ payroll system is working well.

“I am utterly flabbergasted by this decision,” Mr Foss said.

“Any plan to cut payroll staff numbers is totally out of sync with what the ministry is trying to achieve with the Novopay rollout. It’s pretty clear that the ministry’s payroll team needs more resources, not fewer.”

It is rare, but sometimes necessary, for a Minister to directly criticise their own Department or Ministry. This is definitely one of those times. Staffing issues are the sole preserve of the CEO, or Secretary of Education in this case. But there is an obligation to have a no surprises policy and it is clear that the decision to reduce the number of payroll staff was not run via the Minister. It is almost incomprehensible that the Ministry did not think to do so, and calls into question their overall level of competence.

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35 Responses to “The Ministry of Education”

  1. MT_Tinman (3,055 comments) says:

    Associate Education Minister Craig Foss has slated the Education Ministry for plans to sack nine of the staff dealing with the Novopay debacle once the troubled teachers’ payroll system is working well.

    Seems Mr Foss is a fan of keeping a dog but doing the barking himself.

    The story mentions staffing is not in Mr Foss’ sphere of influence – maybe he would be better in the other lot, requiring as he does unnecessary staffing for the sake of it.

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  2. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Funnily enough, recruiting agencies are scouring Wellington for contract staff to come and explain the mess – not fix it, just explain it.

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  3. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    I have always suggested that we should just stop paying teachers so that all the useless ones fuck off to OZ/Afghanistan or somewhere and we re-advertise their jobs.

    Foss may be onto something here! :)

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  4. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    I’d sack every damn person in the Ministry and I wouldn’t care about who I discussed it with.

    The organisation is a cancer on NZ society.

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  5. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    And yet no one want you wielding that power Reddie. Why is that?

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  6. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Cause he has never donned the jersey for HOBM Milkey? :)

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  7. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    The organisation is a cancer on NZ society.

    Yes – we can’t possibly have our children getting a decent education. They might start to develop independent thinking and aspirations

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  8. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Well Johnboy, I seriously doubt that Redbaiter’s Mum ever let him play outdoors at all.

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  9. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Au contraire Milky.

    I suspect she banned him from indoors at a very early age! :)

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  10. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “Yes – we can’t possibly have our children getting a decent education.”

    One that would enable them to make their own mind up on global warming for example?

    Or whether the TOW really is any kind of “founding document”???

    The MOE is just a conduit where centralised left wing activists and their useful idiot buddies feed every dumbarsed country splitting piece of Marxist crap under the sun into the minds of our impressionable young.

    Whatever objectives exist at the Ministry, actual education is right at the bottom of their list.

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  11. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    When did your Mum throw you out Red?

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  12. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    Johnboy – it won’t be the useless ones disappearing overseas.

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  13. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    ..and well below ensuring they develop into first class knuckle dragging collectivists filled with enthusiasm for every dumb progressive idea out there.

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  14. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    It is interesting that the figure bandied about is 90,000 on the Novopay payroll. Lets say there are 1 million school age children, thats one staff member for 11 children. Being generous even if it was 60,000 full time equivalent staff thats one per 17 children. If class sizes average 25 kids (being generous again) that means 30% of the salaries go to non-teaching staff.

    Hello Greece, any room down there?

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  15. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Quite right transmogrifer. All the good ones are already dead.

    I can still picture old Charlie Wadham, squatting on the window sill at the old alma mater, in his old checked suit, looking a lot like Doctor Zeus, with a fag hanging out of his gob, saying “Johnboy, you will never amount to much”!

    He was right! :)

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  16. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I think you might need to look at a little more data before leaping to the 30% conclusion Kevin.

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  17. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    Now that more is emerging about the alleged boy bummer of the north, aka James Parker how do you feel about the scum teachers’ union shutting down an investigation of his activities thirteen years ago? Ref: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10847995

    I wonder how many young lives have been wrecked to feed the power lusts of the union reps.

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  18. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Foss could and should have said this behind closed doors and got the Ministry to issue a quiet release into the mid-week news cycle to the effect that subsequent analysis of the staffing requirements necessitated blah blah.

    But no.

    He had to do it this way, instead.

    That’s kinda stooopid in a “play into the enemies hands” kinda stoopid way to play a given set of cards, isn’t it.

    What a complete mental.

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  19. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    nasska
    I don’t know anything about that case apart from the article to which you linked. It seems that Parker was widely respected in the community – sadly it is not uncommon for child abusers to be in positions of trust. Many people sided with him; including one who was the NZEI delegate. That’s a little different from ‘the scum teachers’ union shutting down an investigation of his activities’ don’t ya think?

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  20. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Oh Reid, Foss is just practising for a more senior Cabinet role by yammering loudly about something he knows nothing about.

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  21. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    I also only know what I’ve read & it is little more than what was in the article. It does seem telling although when the principal is quoted as saying, “while a representative of teachers’ union NZEI picked Parker’s side and stuck to it.”.

    Surely in a case like this even a unionist might pause to think of what could happen to the kids if they got it wrong.

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  22. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Maybe nasska. It sounds to me like there were quite a few on Parker’s side. Maybe the NZEI delegate was his best friend. I don’t know. Unions sometimes cop it in the neck for representing bad guys – is it a bit like lawyers? I was a delegate a long time ago and had to help out a guy who was pretty much hated by everyone in the office. He was strange, and I didn’t enjoy dealing with him, but at least he got treated a bit more fairly.

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  23. HB (298 comments) says:

    One of the people shown on TV who hadn’t been paid was a groundsmen.
    If No(vo)pay is responsible for paying everyone employed by a school then your calculation would be off (I don’t know if they are – just surmising from the above mentioned groundsman).

    Schools have many people who work for them who aren’t teachers – teacher aides, canteen lady, cleaners, office ladies, admin staff etc.

    Also – don’t forget many teachers are part-time.

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  24. HB (298 comments) says:

    oh – or relievers

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  25. HB (298 comments) says:

    *groundsman (sorry)

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  26. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    “Groundspersons” HB.

    Get it right in the new age for fucks sake!! :)

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  27. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Sort of like “Firefighters” really! :)

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  28. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Surely in a case like this even a unionist might pause to think of what could happen to the kids if they got it wrong.

    You’ve nailed it nasska. No-one’s thinking of the children. The first politician to mention the children, captures the Novoplay flag and the game commences.

    Will the politician with the ‘Novopay is good’ flag win, or will he be turned into a snake by a ballistic transmogrifier?

    Isn’t it exciting?

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  29. HB (298 comments) says:

    lol ;)

    the groundsperson I saw on TV was definitely a bloke.

    I had a few other doozies in there too – ‘office ladies’ should be…. nah, stuff that. The ones I know are ladies and deserve the title.

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  30. marcw (238 comments) says:

    “Johnboy, you will never amount to much”!

    And you say he was right – so you became a teacher then? :)

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  31. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Here’s a union covering members arses.

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  32. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    The novopay debacle stinks and if the truth ever comes out I’m sure there will be politicians or their mates involved financially. Need a god investigative reporter but it may be too close to the national party for whaloil.

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  33. Mark (1,434 comments) says:

    Interesting that the national party are keeping Parata well out of this debacle. It will be interesting to see how ling Novopay can keep fucking up and still keep its contract

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  34. BigFish (132 comments) says:

    Anyone else detect a new secretary in a certain department being thrown to the wolves?
    I can’t recall seeing previous secretaries in that role being compelled to front to the media and make uncomfortable statements over this scale of problem.

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  35. HB (298 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/7965035/Flawed-school-pay-system-rushed

    so who is responsible for the decision not to do a trial/staged roll out?

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