How to fix school payroll problems

February 8th, 2013 at 7:31 am by David Farrar

Peter Creswell blogs at Not PC:

Yet again another Novopay pay round has been labelled a shocker, as “the Ministry of Education fielded hundreds of calls from school staff either not paid or underpaid by Novopay yesterday.”

As you might have noticed, a ministerial inquiry is about to be established to inquire why the centrally-planned, centrally-governed, one-size-fits-all system failed. 

Perhaps the first question to be asked is ‘why is such a system is even necessary?’

Schools have their own pay administrators, who currently spend around half their time making up calculating pay and the other half trying to remedy stuff-ups by Novopay. Why on earth not have them simply pay the staff from the school’s bank account, without any need at all for a centrally-planned, centrally-governed, one-size-fits-all payroll system?

Why not?

Because perhaps the second point to contemplate is that the problem with Novopay is not specifically a software problem at all.  I suggest instead it’s exactly what you’re expect of a centrally-planned, centrally-governed, one-size-fits-all system.

I agree. Rather than have all teachers employed by the Ministry of Education and paid by them, I’d have each school responsible for employing their own staff and paying them. If a school wished to used a centralised system such as Novopay they can, or they could use another SAAS system, or local software as they see fit.

It would also mean each school would have flexibility over how much they pay their teachers, within their overall funding.  They could pay a great teacher twice as much as a poor teacher.

blogs against performance pay at Red Alert:

There are some excellent teachers working really hard in schools where the students are struggling. They get incredible results, and often the students in their classes learn a lot more in a year than a child at a school with better test scores, yet because the kids are still behind some of their peers at the end of the year, these schools are labelled as ‘failures’. Why would a great teacher work their guts out at a struggling school when they could get more ‘performance’ pay by working in a school that wasn’t struggling?

This is not an argument against . This is an argument against measuring performance on the basis of test scores, rather than student improvement. It is a red herring. No one who argues for says it should simply go to the teachers whose students get the highest grades.

As Kelvin points out, there is a lot more to teaching than making sure kids hit an arbitrary and narrowly focused set of standards. The fundamental problem with ‘performance’ pay for teachers is that a narrow range of student achievement statistics alone aren’t a reliable measure of how good a teacher is. Can we do a better job of rewarding great teachers? Undoubtedly. Should we provide more incentives for teachers to undertake professional development and continually strive to be better teachers. For sure. Will ‘performance pay’ based on student achievement help achieve these things? No.

Again, no one I know is arguing for performance pay based purely on student achievement. The problem is Chris thinks performance pay has to be like the current pay system – based on one centralised collective scheme with defined criteria for extra pay to be based on.

I’d make each Board and Principal decide how to allocate “performance pay” in their schools. The school community knows who the great and not so great teachers are. I knew it when I was a pupil. Almost everyone knows it. Some teachers have a marvelous gift for connecting with pupils and some teachers just can’t do it no matter how hard they try.

Performance pay will never work as a centralised system based on what marks your students get. It can work as a flexible system where principals can reward the teachers they know make a huge different to their students and whose loss to the school would be a disaster. This is a subjective local decision, not a rigid central decision.

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45 Responses to “How to fix school payroll problems”

  1. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    As usual you don’t mention who would qualify for performance pay. Presumably the teacher who is doing their absolute best despite kids leaving school without any qualifications?

    [DPF: Did you read a single word I wrote? Try reading it, and then commenting]

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  2. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    Great idea

    Lets not stop there each police station should do its own payroll…maybe every navy ship and each doc ranger station to!

    The trouble with PC is he sees every problem as a big state mandated nail…

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  3. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I’d make each Board and Principal decide how to allocate “performance pay” in their schools

    How would you allocate it? I am fascinated by your focus on teachers’ pay…it’s as if there are no other occupations in NZ.

    [DPF: I'd give each school an amount per pupil]

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  4. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    Just so I’ve got this straight: the worse the Novopay stuff-ups get, the more ammunition National has for its argument for bulk-funding schools.

    Which means, National has a strong incentive to make the Novopay problems worse rather than better. What exactly has Steven Joyce been asked to do with respect to Novopay?

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  5. nasska (10,834 comments) says:

    Ross69 makes a good point when he asks how discretionary performance pay would be apportioned. The case last year where a teacher was dismissed for arranging a gang hit on her principal would suggest that exceptional teachers would be unlikely to receive the rewards they are due.

    Rather, in the tradition of other cloth cap unionists such as meatworkers & wharfies the discretionary funds will likely be sidelined & divvied up amongst the most militant of the sisterhood.

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  6. MT_Tinman (3,033 comments) says:

    Don’t worry Milt, it’s Joyce so, no matter what, we know it’ll get worse instead of better.

    Personally I believe performance pay should be paid, at least partially, on test results.

    I want to know that my future employee, family member etc. can add, read, write and comprehend english and has at least some understanding of history – something only exam results can prove.

    I expect those paid to help him/her achieve this are paid on measurable results, not just their word.

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  7. m@tt (604 comments) says:

    “If a school wished to used a centralised system such as Novopay they can, or they could use another SAAS system, or local software as they see fit.”
    After years of National telling us that centralising and sharing services to save money is the way forward…

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  8. Viking2 (11,223 comments) says:

    Of course we had bulk funded pays and Boards and Principles used to be able to reward teachers but that was removed. Can’t remember which of the two Labour parties canned it. either Labour Clark or Labour lite.

    The sooner Joyce stops Nova pay and allow boards to do their own the better for everyone including the teachers who haven’t been paid and who now probably are beginning to see the light. That they actually don’t need a teachers union nor to be employed by a dumb Ministry.

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  9. jims_whare (399 comments) says:

    For our small business (we have 4 full time staff) we use ACE payroll.

    Costs something like $250 a year and makes payroll so simple even a registered teacher could use it successfully.

    The MOE could bulk buy for all schools and get a huge volume discount – also run basic training courses on the use of it and then let principals implement it in each school.

    The cost is peanuts compared to this novapay nonsense.

    Also if there are any miss payments then teachers can pop into their school office and say oi wheres my $$ and get it sorted out straight away.

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  10. Black with a Vengeance (1,608 comments) says:

    *sigh*…How about giving each pupil an amount to attend a class and at the end of the class the teacher has a whip around based on the level of performance the kids think they deserve?

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  11. davidp (3,551 comments) says:

    There was an item on Stuff yesterday written by a school principal. His belief is that Novopay doesn’t work because administrators in schools are incapable of using computers to input payroll information directly. He seemed to advocate returning to a model when schools faxed or posted paper forms to payroll teams. Those payroll teams would be regional.

    If this is the case, part of the solution is to sack school administrators and hire replacements who are able to use computers and other modern tools. It’s as if people were unable to buy things on Trademe, but instead you’d select what you wanted to buy or bid on and faxed a paper form to the Trademe office. There has to be some openness to the same type of productivity technologies that have revolutionised the world economy over the last twenty years.

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  12. itstricky (1,682 comments) says:

    Reintroducing failed bulk funding ideas have already been put back on the radar so, as earlier posters have said – is this just an convienient incentive to not fix Novapay? And come to think of it, is this post just another undercover public feeling poll for the poster’s idolised political masters? Just fix the thing. End of story.

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  13. Black with a Vengeance (1,608 comments) says:

    …Then we can means test the kids based on their parents income and pay them accordingly. Of course the kids could also take a loan out to cover the years cost and then they get loaded up with debt of which we charge interest on. That way theyll work in servitude for ages at practically peanut or should that be penal rates. And just for added incentive we wont issue them passports until the debt is paid…

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  14. RRM (9,606 comments) says:

    While the philosophical discussions continue around how it’s not as bad as “they” are making it out to be; about how it would be done in an ideal world, and about whether the state should employ teachers at all; a friend of mine who’s relief teaching in the South Island reports that:

    :arrow: She has been paid NOTHING for the last two pay periods (that’s a month to you and I) and is also still waiting for two corrections from wrong pays in October and November 2012.

    :arrow: At least 4 of her colleagues haven’t been paid this round either.

    :arrow: Novopay has not updated anyone’s pay according to the new pay scales which were agreed last year and supposed to be effective from this year.

    :arrow: People with extra / senior duties have not had their extra / senior duty allowances paid.

    :arrow: One of the latest tricks is to state a net amount on your pay slip (if you are lucky enough to get one) and find that a completely different amount has been deposited in your account

    :arrow: The School’s beleagured admin. lady sent an e mail to them all, apologising on Novopay’s behalf and advising that if any of them really actually needed to get paid, please let her know and she’d do something mickey mouse with the school’s operating budget to get them some cash.

    I told my friend to stop whinging… it’s only her livelihood, it’s not like she’s being asked to sever a limb or anything. :lol:

    Fortunately for my friend she has no mortgage, her children are grown-up and no longer at home, and her husband is employed in private enterprise where the payroll people and systems are competent and seem to get everyone’s pay right, every time. A lot of the other teachers are far less fortunate…

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  15. nasska (10,834 comments) says:

    RRM

    Who cares? While they’re whining & moaning about their pay (or the lack thereof) their attention is drawn away from new & improved ways to brainwash the kids with socialist drivel.

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  16. RRM (9,606 comments) says:

    Socialist??
    If my friend started commenting on here Nasska, Redbaiter would think he’d found the perfect woman :-)

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  17. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    My understanding is that part of the problem is the uber-complicated employment contracts that the unions have managed to negotiate.

    I think the standard teacher contract goes something like this…

    “Now, before I begin the lesson, will those of you who are playing in the match this afternoon move your clothes down onto the lower peg immediately after lunch, before you write your letter home, if you’re not getting your hair cut, unless you’ve got a younger brother who is going out this weekend as the guest of another boy, in which case, collect his note before lunch, put it in your letter after you’ve had your hair cut, and make sure he moves your clothes down onto the lower peg for you….”

    The poor Novopay devs probably have no experience with union contracts. Their contract probably gives them 5 sick days and 4 weeks leave per year, no complicated shit.

    So while I’m not defending Talent2′s part in all this, it’s probably a good opportunity to revisit some of the complicated union contractual requirements that is making the process harder than it needs to be.

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  18. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    DPF – you should know by now that the NZEI and the PPTA have made it clear that people like you are not allowed to make any sort of suggestion that makes life better. Its simply against the rules……….
    Please be aware that you are a marked man. The NZEI etc will have gangs out roaming the street looking to shut you down. they just cant allow this sort of discussion to get out of hand – which means to gain traction.

    Performance pay is easy to impliment. It is based on the degree of improvement each class or student makes. doesnt matter where they start. A year or two or three behind – doesnt matter – its the improvement that they make that reflects on the teacher.

    And as we all know its the reading and writting and basic maths that are vital for therest of your life – so these are used to measure improvement.

    But then again I wouldnt be at all surprised if Joyce uses the current situation to say – after an approriate period of horror – to say – look the only way to solve this is to turn pay over to the schools – otherwise its going to be years of agony to sort it out. I think hes laid the ground work already.

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  19. BeaB (2,074 comments) says:

    Some reality checks

    Performance pay is not hard. How do principals now decide who should get management units – based on merit, achievement, leadership, good teaching etc? If they can make these decisions then rewarding good performance is reasonably simple – and everyone, kids included, know who the best teachers are in a school. And who are the worst!

    Salary bulkfunding worked very very well for the schools that stared the unions down – and that was easy enough with a pocketful of cash to shut down the opposition.

    Datacom wasn’t perfect and just about every SUE report seemed to have errors. When the payroll was first handed over to Datacom there was a similar uproar – fueled partly by our tedious media who just love repeatig the same story over and over.

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  20. Ed Snack (1,773 comments) says:

    It’s interesting how one gets different perspectives on the actual problems with Novopay. From the feedback I’ve had it seems that one key issue is that the old system was basically set up so that the schools filled in paper forms and sent these to a centralized (regionally based) for input. These input centres were sufficiently skilled to interpret the data given. This however was expensive and the operator, Datacom, couldn’t negotiate a sufficient increase in the charges so it opted out. Novopay by contrast relies on the schools to enter the data via a direct interface; and here’s the issue, the schools are simply not able to manage the data entry. There are also probably significant defects in the software but not of a type that cannot be fixed, there are several local payroll operators like Ace or IMS that can get it basically right after all.

    The payroll is relatively complicated and probably needs a dedicated operator, something the schools are not (in general) funded to provide. So another case, like the Auckland laboratories debacle, of an organization looking to save costs by actually simply shifting the cost to another place outside their direct payment range.

    Perhaps the cure is to properly fund each school to recruit and pay a dedicated payroll operator. The idea of letting each school operate their own payroll of choice has merit in that it would focus the responsibility where the system appears to be failing; that is at the school data entry and management level. For a school to operate it’s own PC based payroll would require a properly trained operator and a properly organized payroll process, something that, from the info I see, is sadly lacking at many schools.

    Of course this may just represent the viewpoint of my sources, maybe Novopay is so bad it can’t pay people as RRM suggests. However I suspect that in the above case RRM, your friends data was simply not entered in a form that the system could accept, and it was beyond the school’s ability to enter it properly.

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  21. mpledger (429 comments) says:

    If the previous IT company could do the payroll then the pay system can’t have been too complicated to manage. From the whispers I’ve heard Datacom(?) were approached to see if they could take it over again but they said they couldn’t for two reasons
    1) they didn’t have the staff available and able to work in that area anymore and
    2) Talent2 threw away a lot of the data that Datacom needed to run their system and it can’t be retrieved.

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  22. unpcnzcougar (52 comments) says:

    When I enrolled my daughter to go to school, I went out of zone and to a bulk funded school. The teachers there were amazing and the facilities that were being built incredible. The Principal told me he won and lost students on the bulk funding issue. However, 2 years later the out of zones were so huge that they were done by ballot. I really could not have hoped for a better primary school education for her. I fully support bulk funding and think that it is a no brainer to return to it.

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  23. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    There is a broader issue of concern. There has been a string of IT failures in the public sector over the years and yet there does not seem toi be the expertise or experience to get things right. It is said that NZ should be concentrating on hi tec export industries, and a good starting point would be to build up excellence in the IT area. The next big IT project on the horizon is the IRD tax system and the Social Welfare system would require continuing work. There are other potential IT projects – for example a guy skipped bail and fled to Australia – he should have been stopped at the airport if an appropriate IT process was in place.

    There is a dilemma with IT systems – whether to adopt the ‘small is beautiful’ approach and let each agency, school, hospital, etc adopt its own system or whether to develop communal systems. The latter in theory should be more cost effective, but in practice development can be excessively bogged down. Rod Drury seems to have cracked the problem with his Xero accounting system – he has developed a communal system which is proving successful and popular, and he is adding features to it to suit customer needs but at a pace that does not lead to ‘overload’. Interestingly, he has steered clear of payroll, instead supporting five payroll partners.

    I am not sure each school should do its own thing with administration/ payroll IT. While it would be feasible for schools over 1000 pupils, it would be problematic with smaller schools although they could sign up with payroll providers.

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  24. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    I really could not have hoped for a better primary school education for her. I fully support bulk funding and think that it is a no brainer to return to it.

    Should the govt at some point decide to use your individual experience to steer its policies, I’m sure bulk funding would be a no-brainer for it also.

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  25. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Cresswell is, like the other Rand worshipers, wrong again. A central system can work quite well. After all, our education department doesn’t have anywhere near the headaches these guys have:

    http://www.dfas.mil/pressroom/aboutdfas.html

    In 1991, the Secretary of Defense created the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to standardize, consolidate, and improve accounting and financial functions throughout the DoD. The intent was to reduce the cost of the Department’s finance and accounting operations while strengthening its financial management.

    DFAS pays all DoD military and civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, as well as major DoD contractors and vendors. DFAS also supports customers outside the DoD in support of electronic government initiatives. The new customers include the Executive Office of the President, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    Yet their story is one of increasing efficiency (for which we can thank Dick Cheney). The empty space in Cresswell’s head could probably contain the US military’s entire payroll department.

    This is a story about incentives. The Novopay people know that the government can’t really afford to dump them, so they hold all the cards, can work at their own pace, and no doubt will hit us all up for more money. A state payroll system for all government employees would avoid this.

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  26. unpcnzcougar (52 comments) says:

    Psycho, who else but the tens of thousands of parents whose children benefited massively from bulk-funding. How about the waiting list for teachers who wanted to be in that sort of environment also. I shall be sure to bring it up next time I run into Nikki Kaye. I know quelle horreur that parents and teachers should have any input into their child’s education.

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  27. Mark (1,406 comments) says:

    @DPF
    Performance pay will never work as a centralised system based on what marks your students get. It can work as a flexible system where principals can reward the teachers they know make a huge different to their students and whose loss to the school would be a disaster. This is a subjective local decision, not a rigid central decision.

    To some degree I agree with you but surely there has to be an objective measure in there somewhere. As someone who has worked in a performance pay environment for most of my working life there needs to be a set of objective measures to ensure fairness and making sure that good people do not miss out simply because the principal does not like them.

    DPF how do you propose that performance pay and bulk funding does not cause an exodus of the very best performing teachers to high decile well resourced schools and simply exacerbate the performance problems of the lowest quartile students that the government keeps assuring the public that all thee changes in schools are targeted at.

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  28. RightNow (6,798 comments) says:

    Even the lefties on here disagree with each other, as do the rest of us I suppose.

    Time for an unscientific poll:

    Ignoring the current mess, the primary question seems to be should there be a centralised payroll system or should schools look after themselves?

    Vote thumbs up for centralised, and thumbs down for schools doing their own.

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  29. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    [DPF: Did you read a single word I wrote? Try reading it, and then commenting]

    I did. You didn’t explain any criteria for allocating pay based on performance. There has to be objective and measureable criteria.

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  30. Viking2 (11,223 comments) says:

    itstricky (68) Says:
    February 8th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Reintroducing failed bulk funding ideas

    In whose opinion did they fail.
    Your? the Unions or more importantly the customers?

    When you can answer “customers” then you understand how these things should work. Until then you are just a scum bag who looks after their own self interest.

    Customers are King/Queen.

    Customers are No.1

    Customers pay the bill along with Taxpayers.
    Taxpayers are customers.

    Go to bed and recite that 100 times every night until you get the message that Customers Matter.

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  31. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    I shall be sure to bring it up next time I run into Nikki Kaye.

    Well, that’s me fucked then – it’s hard to see how the govt could possibly reject the idea of formulating policy based on your anecdote if you back it up with a personal recommendation to your MP.

    Ignoring the current mess, the primary question seems to be should there be a centralised payroll system or should schools look after themselves?

    Surely this is a no-brainer – after all, large organisations have always found it more efficient to devolve admin tasks to individual branches rather than centralise them, this is well-known organisational management orthodoxy…

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  32. Rightandleft (652 comments) says:

    This is unbelievable. You’re using a crisis that is having serious effects on thousands of people’s lives to argue for bulk funding and performance pay?! I know of one large Auckland school where over 60 teachers’ pay has been messed up. I have friends who have not been paid fully since last September and now have lost all their savings and need emergency loans. There’s no excuse for using a payroll crisis to promote ideological solutions to unrelated problems.

    As for performance pay, it has been tried around the world and has largely failed. The PISA In Focus report looked at multiple countries with performance pay systems and found that they had no positive effect on student outcomes. The suggested method here, of letting principals and boards decide is absolutely the worst system I’ve heard suggested. Some principals would just reward their favourites rather than the actual best teachers. Most principals rarely have any contact with teachers in the classroom and wouldn’t have a clue how to reward performance. Comparing a music teacher to a maths teacher would be impossible.

    Then there’s this repeated idea that the students know who the best teachers are. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Students know which teachers they like, which teachers are fun and engaging, but not which ones really produce the best results. I’ve seen it in my school. When I was in school I knew which teacher got the best exam results, and I avoided his class like the plague because he was also a notorious task master who routinely mocked students. If you asked my friends we’d have said he was a terrible teacher, callous and single-minded about exam results. But another group of students would have told you he was the best, he was the only teacher to challenge them and really drive them to succeed. Claiming everyone agrees on who the best teachers in a school are is just plain wrong. Ask five students at my school and you’ll get five different answers. Ask five teachers and I know for a fact you’ll have the same problem.

    As for using value added data, that doesn’t work either. In any given class I gain and lose at least 10% of the class in a given year. For year 11s I have no data from the last year to compare to as that is their first year of NCEA. In Year 12 half the class didn’t take my subject the previous year, so again not enough data to compare. And that doesn’t even deal with the problem of comparing teachers of different subjects. Travel and Tourism is flush with easy credits and used for low-end students. History or Classics are much more difficult subjects with fewer credits on offer. How do we compare their teachers?

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  33. RightNow (6,798 comments) says:

    Rightandleft: – what solution is ideological? If divesting payroll to schools themselves means the teachers get paid properly, isn’t that pragmatic?

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  34. Paulus (2,544 comments) says:

    There appears to be two main problems with Novopay.

    1. The 13 Education Union Awards and something like 10,000 computations. (all forever changing).

    2. The Computerised Novopay system is beyond the capabilities of the Payroll Officers, who have been used to a manual handwritten system and a fax.

    Novopay input system is too complicated and advanced so should be slewed back to a more simple input system, which can be allowed to upscale in time when inputter are more confident, or are replaced with more computer literate staff.

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  35. BeaB (2,074 comments) says:

    Oh dear right and left.
    What a dim view you take of principals and your colleagues. And let me assure you – every principal knows exactly who the best and worst teachers are, who are the timewasters and malingerers and who are the lead swingers. The information flows in from colleagues, heads of department, parents, kids, support staff, their own observations.
    Any principal worth their salt could sit down and rank every teacher with no problem at all and without ‘playing favourites’. Says a lot I suspect about how you run your classroom! And how you underestimate the judgement others make of your performance because, believe me, you are ranked now and it affects your chances of promotion as well as many other professional opportunities.

    John Graham always used to say that if he said to the kids you can choose your English teacher this year there would be a stampede to one classroom!

    In my view the main point of performance pay is the signal it sends to good teachers that their exemplary work is valued – and others might lift their game. Good principals hand out any goodies now on the basis of good performance because they want to keep their best teachers.

    I knew many teachers who may not have won Miss/Mr Personality but the kids knew they got results. On the other hand I remember a mother saying that she supposed it was fair enough her kid had got Mr X as all the kids had to take their turns with the bad teachers and next year they might have better luck. Those poor kids – a whole year wasted.

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  36. Rightandleft (652 comments) says:

    I’m not saying that part of the post was ideological. The part about this allowing the use of performance pay was ideological. Although I’m not sure divesting payroll to schools themselves is a good idea either. I’m not solidly against that though. I do like decentralisation of power and responsibility in general. For example I’m not a big fan of what centralising Auckland power in the hands of loony Len has done.

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  37. Nigel Kearney (904 comments) says:

    I agree with the people who are skeptical that students, parents, boards of trustees or even principals know who the best teachers are. Performance pay should be based on measured results at the end of the year, compared to the measured results for the same kids at the end of the previous year. I don’t mind if only literacy and numeracy are measured, especially at primary level, and I doubt most other parents do either.

    Re Novopay, I know nothing about the actual problem, but I assume that people input staff details, start/finish or leave dates, hours worked for part-timers and so on, and this somehow results in a data file that goes to the bank. It seems a good idea that a school administrator can press a button and see the bank accounts and payment amounts that will be sent to the bank as a result of the input done for that school. This function should use exactly the same code that generates the real file. It doesn’t seem hard to build such a function. Doing this wouldn’t make the pay correct but would show up issues before people are wrongly paid so they could be dealt with in time.

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  38. RightNow (6,798 comments) says:

    I assume that people input staff details, start/finish or leave dates, hours worked for part-timers and so on, and this somehow results in a data file that goes to the bank. It seems a good idea that a school administrator can press a button and see the bank accounts and payment amounts that will be sent to the bank as a result of the input done for that school.

    Sounds identical to using a Software as a Service payroll system. There’s a few to choose from in NZ already, so if schools were to start doing their own payrolls I expect it could be done very swiftly.

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  39. Rightandleft (652 comments) says:

    The problem with using just literacy and numeracy at high school level is that it leaves out so many teachers. Does that mean only English and Maths teachers, maybe Science, could compete for higher pay? What about music, art, PE, Social Studies teachers? And again, how would you judge teachers of elective subjects where there are no previous year’s results for most or all of their students?

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  40. chrisw76 (85 comments) says:

    Awesome David: instead of the possible media interpretation that Talent2 cocked this up and the government is kicking arse to find a solution, we will now have a storyline of the government is taking its time so bulk funding can be brought back on the table. Great job, really.

    Cheers, Chris W.

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  41. Jim (405 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt “Surely this is a no-brainer – after all, large organisations have always found it more efficient to devolve admin tasks to individual branches rather than centralise them, this is well-known organisational management orthodoxy…”

    Which is a shame, because top talent prefers to work for companies that have a uniform centralised pay scale indexed to 50th percentile of the market. They understand that to get paid more you just have to wait to become more senior. Management knows that the best employees are loyal and very patient, and the lowest performers will get tired of waiting and resign.

    Brilliant management theories such as the Peter Principle were born in such organisations.

    But seriously though, whether the payroll system itself is centrally managed or not is totally irrelevant to budgets and performance pay. Most effective would be a centralised system with control devolved to where it is needed (within budget constraints). Seems like Novopay fucked up on their operational planning.

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  42. unaha-closp (1,133 comments) says:

    Easiest solution – use novopay to fund our politicians and their various allowances. It’d be dumped withion a week.

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  43. RightNow (6,798 comments) says:

    “It’d be dumped within a week.”

    I’m sure that’s just a throw-away comment, but it’s representative of a lot of feeble minded thinking (like “let’s destroy capitalism” – perhaps, but how will you get your dole payments?)

    Dump Novopay and you’re stuck with figuring out how to pay about 100,000 people. It’s not a great system but there’s no alternative at the moment, unless you accept an even higher level of disruption for those people.

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  44. kiwigunner (222 comments) says:

    A new system is a load of crap so lets transfer to a system that suits our ideology. Disaster Capitalism 101.

    Is it too much to ask that the Novapay system for which everyone in NZ has paid and is paying a shitload of money for simply gets the job done correctly? Everything else is another discussion.

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  45. itstricky (1,682 comments) says:

    Viking2

    When you can answer “customers” then you understand how these things should work
    Customers are King/Queen.

    Let me just work this one through in my slow, old, mind.

    The customers are the tax payers.

    The tax payers are the voters.

    The voters voted, and put in a Government who reversed bulk funding.

    Aha! Thanks for clearing that up for me -: the customers got what they wanted and they were right

    How’s about this one:

    I must not get offended about something that is quite inconsequential in the grand scheme of life to such a degree that I call someone I don’t know a scum bag at the drop of a hat.

    Go to bed and recite that 100 times every night.

    And then maybe, tomorrow, enjoy the sunshine instead of writing another in the 8k+ series of happy, witty, and oh – so intelligent insults.

    Oh, and why don’t they just fix Novapay and get out a system that actually does what it said on the tin from the start.

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