Teacher unions announce legal action over back-pay delay

New Zealand's two largest teacher unions have today announced they will be taking legal action against Novopay.

Source: 1 NEWS

The NZEI and PPTA made the decision after being told by Novopay that teachers wouldn't be receiving payment for their new rates, which came into effect on July 1, until September 11.

"This delay is completely unacceptable," PPTA President Jack Boyle said.

"The Minister of Education has now undertaken to look into the delay – a welcome response.

"We are also taking action. We have instructed our lawyers to file proceedings seeking urgent compliance orders for payment and, if necessary, penalties for late payment," Mr Boyle said.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins tweeted that teachers have messaged him about the delay, and that it's "just not good enough".

Chief Executive of Education Payroll (the entity that manages Novopay) Arlene White told 1 NEWS the payroll adjustment is a "complex" one.

"The current payroll system doesn’t have the facility to easily make the complex adjustments required, so we’re having to design, write and extensively test new code.

"We’ve focused on getting the bulk payment of $1500 to teachers as quickly as possible, but that too is more complex than it sounds as there’s different calculations for full-time teachers, pro-rated part-time teachers, day relief only teachers, part-time teachers who also do day relief work, and teachers on leave.

"The replacement payroll service that Education Payroll is building called EdPay is modern, customer-focused, and automated. It will allow considerable more flexibility and responsiveness to changes in the future," Ms White says.