NZEI goes to court; sadly, not for being part of the paedophile debacle

Around 20 school staff members went to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) this morning over what they say is a payroll issue with Novopay.

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) says Novopay is reducing the pay of around 6000 school support staff including office administrators and teacher aides.

NZEI says it’s based on payroll technicalities that result in there being 27 fortnightly pay dates, rather than 26.

Christchurch-based school office administrator Kay Addei says they are already the lowest paid people in the sector.

“It’s upset me to say the least. We aren’t highly paid individuals,” she says.

Mother Danielle Davies was at the ERA this morning to show her support for the school staff.

Her daughter Abbicus has Down Syndrome and requires a teachers aide.

“It’s appalling. They’re already paid quite low anyway and the work they do is so profound, they should be treated with respect.”

However, the Ministry of Education says the method of payment also has nothing to do with Novopay and is about when support staff choose to be paid.

It appears that staff have been overpaid.  There are, after all, not 27 fortnights in a year.  So, instead of going to court and insisting there be no pay cut, I think the government should get the court to decide if people were overpaid and now have to pay back any overpayment.

Highly paid they may not be, but it appears they have been paid more than they were due.

– Emily Cooper, Stuff


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  • Mr C

    Support staff have not been overpaid. This mainly affects support staff who “annualise” their pay – who instead of receiving 40 weeks (the school year) pay at whatever hours they work (and nothing for the 12 weeks they don’t work), that amount is paid over 52 weeks or 26 fortnights. But Novopay say that the annualised amount must be paid this year over 27 fortnights – even though there are still only 26 fortnights in the year. Thus their fortnightly pay reduces. Strangely this doesn’t apply to salaried staff such as teachers – there are either 27 frtnights this year (in which case salried staff should be affcted too) or there are not. This seems to be an anomaly and I think NZEI are doiung the right thing by querying the legality of this.

    • SlightlyStrange

      that makes more sense and explanation than the original article – thanks!