So, Novopay is here to stay.
I have to be honest that I feel really sorry for all of the teachers and other teaching staff who have been adversely affected by this train wreck of a pay system. The problems that Novopay has caused the Government are one thing, but the stress, the uncertainty, the disruption to family lives are quite another altogether. Yes, it might be costing the country several million dollars to clean up. Yes the Government might be writing off some of the over payments that have resulted, but they are not the ones whose ability to put food on the table, pay bills, take the children to movies and buy them stationery for school is being affected.
I am pretty sure that if Novopay is the system used to pay politicians, it would have been fixed in three days flat. The politicians, upon realising that their bank accounts might not get their weekly/fortnightly fattening up would have ploughed all manner of resources into getting it fixed. But the teachers are not politicians. The teachers, the Parent Teachers Association, the Boards of Trustees at each school, the principals and the aides must be gritting their teeth and wondering how long it is before there are profound and long lasting consequences.
I do not blame them. It must be dreadful being the person who has to enter all the data into the system and tell the teachers that Novopay has mucked up again. It must be dreadful being the principal having to field the last round of complaints about Novopay, with almost the same inevitability that darkness comes into a room when the light gets turned out. It must be horrendous to go home, especially if you have not been paid and wondering how you are going to get by if Novopay failed to pay up. And how does one explain these things to the kids who cannot be expected to understand the ins and outs of politics, and human resource systems gone mad? Should they try? No doubt parents who are also teachers have been wrestling with this problem since Novopay was found to be faulty.
It would be nice to think that this could all be solved at the wave of a magic wand like those you have seen your students running around with at fancy dress days. It would be nice to think that the ending will be something along the lines of “and they all lived happily ever after”. The Minister responsible for cleaning up Novopay, Steven Joyce, says it is here to stay. That might be so, but Mr Joyce is not one of the teachers on the receiving end of its many failures. Would he still hold the same opinion if he were one of the teachers whose pay packet just got mucked up for the third consecutive pay day in a row?
And is it true that Members of Parliament including Ministers of the Crown had shares in Talent 2, the inept company behind the bungle? Yes it is. The same Member of Parliament who wants to subject New Zealand’s education system to charter schools, John Banks, the sole A.C.T. Member of Parliament, had them prior to the sign off on a system that many Kiwi’s now – myself included – think should be ditched.