Thursday, January 10, 2013

The more things change...

The Novopay debacle has dominated education news for several months. But is it really that newsworthy and of recent occurrence? Check this out:

NZPF: Another bureaucratic bungle

NZPF: Another bureaucratic bungle

New Zealand Principals’ Federation, 13 February 2008

For immediate release

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation has criticised the Ministry of Education, following major payroll errors which have created a bureaucratic nightmare across the country.
Datacom is contracted by the Ministry of Education to provide payroll services to more than 80,000 New Zealand teachers. The latest payroll round – the first of the school term – is filled with errors, says NZPF President Paddy Ford.
“A number of schools have not received any pay, and many support staff have been paid the incorrect amounts. Staff who are on leave have incorrectly received full pay, changes that were sent to Datacom in November have not been actioned, and staff are being forced to fill forms out twice with exactly the same information.”
Ford has today received numerous complaints from schools up and down the country, and he says this latest debacle is not surprising given the numerous errors seen in 2007.“We had major problems last year with multiple changes to forms, which we weren’t told of. Then the Ministry added another layer of bureaucracy by refusing to let principals’ speak directly to the person responsible for their schools’ payroll. Today’s mistakes show just how unworkable the system has become.”
Ford says it is ridiculous that the draft Kiwi Leadership for Principals document has been released on the day that principals are dealing with yet another bureaucratic bungle. “Education Minister Chris Carter is today talking about supporting the professional learning of Principals - but we’re spending our time dealing with petty bureaucracy and a system which is not delivering an effective service to schools.”

It would seem that payroll problems are nothing new to New Zealand schools, and that in fact they were happening just as frequently when Chris Carter was Minister of Education prior to the 2008 General Election.

It was Chris Carter of course who signed the first contract with the Novopay providers, as we blogged in November last year. The education unions seem to have short memories, because as the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

That of course does not exempt Hekia Parata from criticism for her handling of the portfolio, and we hope that John Key has thought long and hard about his Cabinet reshuffle over the summer break.


Carlston Forbes said...

Is the Novopay debacle newsworthy?
Key adores Parata and has total confidence in her.
As he does John Banks.

Bronson Carmichael said...

But not bsprout, robertguyton, Edward the Confessor, Robert Winter, or the Riverton twelve.

Mark said...

The issues pre-date that article, and they were making exactly the same complaints when the previous payroll system was originally installed. You would think the newspapers might have bothered to offer the context, given that they reported the previous issues at the time.