This entry was posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2012 at 7:47 am and is filed under New Zealand.
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The problem is these are generally teacher aides and admin staff so the payment comes from the school, not the Ministry. I don’t think many schools will have enough in the bank account to cover the level of payments being reported.
Yep this is a mess. The old system was a pain, but it worked every week. As an employee the one thing you don’t want to have to worry about is whether or not you get paid. Its pre-Christmas and people are stressed anyway, without having to worry about liaising with their banks to ensure bills get paid, etc. Getting paid too much is a problem as well, because the MoE has a policy of deducting overpayments in the future.
While it is all well and good to say that people should be better at managing their finances and ensuring that irrespective of what they get paid they should manage to a budget, I think that the employer has a responsibility here. It is hard not to agree with the calls for some top level responsibility to be shown.
After the year that she has had, I think the resignation or sacking of the Minister is the most appropriate action John Key can take. Then he can look to rebuild National’s reputation in the Education area. I don’t think I am overstating it when I say that if these repeated problems in the Education area continue that the odds of National retaining the treasury benches are vanishingly small.
I am written before that I am getting fed up with the incompetent political management being shown by certain Ministers and I’ll say it again: however unfair it may be to the individual, if decisive action isn’t taken soon to correct the course then the Government’s credibility will be irreparably damaged. Going into the election with the only thing in your favour being that at least your not as big a clusterf**k as the other team isn’t exactly a selling point and won’t be rewarded by the electorate who will already be in a mood for change.
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To my simple mind it beggars belief that after 50 or so years experience of data processing in NZ (eg Databank, utility billing, TAB, teachers and public service payrolls and welfare benefits systems) that designers of IT systems seem to be incapable of getting it right. The Greens do have a point (to a degree) – NZ should go for ‘green’ hi-tec employment. Developing the art of building IT systems that actually work first time and within budget would be an excellent start. NZ surely has sufficient brains to do this. Perhaps the Germans have been successful (eg SAP software used by utilities and others) because of their Teutonic thoroughness.
NZers built some beautiful IT systems but for political reasons at the utility level they got canned. It looks better on your cv to put in place a new system then to roll over the old one because of the the increased management and budget necessary.
I’m a Teacher Aide at a small school. I have two illustrative Novopaystories.
1) I am on a casual contract, and get “terminated” at the end of each year and then re-hired – like many teacher aides.
I have not yet been paid holiday pay and am not fully confident of being so on the 21st (I am officially terminated as of the 18th Dec). By this point, school will be closed and all employees departed for the four winds including the school admin staff. The school secretary can’t tell me how much pay I should get (I want to compare against what Novopay eventually put in my account) because the information disappeared in the system and while she could see a fellow teacher aide’s pay details, she couldn’t see mine. After hours on the phone, Novopay told her to “cross her fingers”. While my family will manage ok (although it’s very inconvenient), for many low-income families this will be a matter of considerable distress. This time of year only works, with careful planning, budgeting and judicious shopping – you can’t seize specials if you don’t have the money.
My second story involves an overpayment by Novopay of $54.00 that was made a few weeks ago. I was sent a letter requesting payment that was on such high quality, heavy weight paper, that I might have expected an invitation to Hekia’s wedding. I didn’t do anything about the matter (busy, dis-organised, a bit pissed off), and came home the other day to find a small Courier Post envelope on my doorstep, inside which was a letter in a *pre-paid* envelope reminding me to pay my $54.00. Absurd.
If the pay-roll officer in a small business repeatedly stuffed up in the manner that Novopay has done, there would be no question about them retaining their role. Somebody really significant needs to take ownership of this mess and resign. I only hope that the contract with Talent2 had very significant failure penalties in it, and people in Talent2 are feeling the consequences of their failures.
New Zealand tech companies do produce very good software. Often, not supported by local industry and mostly not supported by the government, who would rather pay 100s of millions for garbage like SAP and Novopay rather than purchacsing a local product that works.
Good point. When shopping for IT solutions, government agencies and other large organisations often place too much reliance on the ‘capability’ of providers and are too easily impressed by the size or wealth of a provider, which can be mistaken for competence.