PPTA News PPTA News is the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association.

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Approximately 18,000 copies of PPTA News are distributed free to secondary and area schools and other institutions.

Not all the opinions expressed within PPTA News reflect those of the PPTA.

Enquiries should be addressed to: The Editor, PPTA News, PO Box 2119, Wellington, New Zealand. Phone: 04 3849964; Fax: 04 3828763; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Novopay's walking wounded

PPTA branches throughout the country recognised the casualties of Novopay last month with a series of morning teas to mark two years since the shambolic payroll system was introduced.

Members at Kamo High School looked the part bandaged up as Novopay casualties and lining up at the “Novopay A and E” to share bloodied looking jam muffins.

The morning teas were held between 1-12 September to recognise the impact the error-ridden system has had on teachers and the long-suffering executive (salary) officers who have to deal with it on a daily basis.

Novopay walking wounded 2014

Article published in:

 icon PPTA News October 2014 (volume 35 no.9)


PPTA News October 2014

PPTA News cover October 2014The October 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.35 (9) October 2014

Table of contents:

Step inside the gates - President's viewpoint p.3;
Novopay's walking wounded p.4;
Former president farewelled p.5;
New doco details daily toil of teachers p.5;
A stormy year (Annual Conference) p.6;
Going the distance (Phillipstown Technology Centre) p.8;
Financial irresponsibility (Charter schools) p.10;
Government set to slash your rights at work p.11;
ASPIRE retirement scheme transfer p.11;
Tackling teen depression and anxiety (Stand by me - book review) p.12;
Letters - Time for an editorial policy on gender equity? p.12;
So there is a falling roll ... (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Some PRTs required to do teacher ed refresh courses (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Make sure you're in the know before you vote (IES) p.16.


icon PPTA News October 2014 (volume 35 no.9)

#edchatnz followers meet face-to-face

Te Aroha College teacher and Twitter convert Samantha Mortimer (@sammortimer70) attended the inaugural #edchatnz conference at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.

I discovered #edchatnz earlier this year when I finally decided to give Twitter a proper go. I’d had an account for a couple of years but never found my calling - I was already using Facebook personally and loved to try new technology but couldn’t see the point of Twitter. However, a couple of young teachers at school had been singing its praises for a while and they seemed to have lots of innovative exciting ideas around pedagogy, so I thought I would try again.

My attempts to connect with the Twitter world would have failed again but I found the #edchatnz community - which meets on Twitter every second Thursday from 8.30 to 9.30pm. It’s a time to be challenged about a number of issues in education with the central question always - how can we do the best for our students? This is led by the remarkable @MissDtheTeacher otherwise known as Danielle Myburgh who is the host and founder. Although Danielle tweeted on international education sites she found there was no way to connect to New Zealand teachers on Twitter so she decided to start her own hashtag and #edchatnz was born in 2012.


PPTA News September 2014

PPTA News Cover Sept 2014The September 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.35 (8) September 2014

Table of contents:

ACT chokes on choice - President's viewpoint p.3;
Novopay - legal action update p.4;
Spotlight on Maori education p.5;
IES interim agreement p.6;
PPTA complaint sparks investigation of State Service Commission p.7;
Videos to spur young voters p.7;
Education on the hustings p.8;
Minister takes credit where it's not due p.9;
Campaigning for women.10;
#edchatnz followers meet face-to-face p.11;
Transforming practice through collaboration p.12;
Thanks Kate ... and Kate and Kate ... p.13;
Is the grass greener in Ireland? (Field Officer advice) p.14;
More time and less plastic (letters) p.14.

icon PPTA News September 2014 (volume 35 no.8)

PPTA News August 2014

The August 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News Cover August 2014

PPTA News v.35 (7) August 2014

Table of contents:

Shabby charter school quango feels the heat - President's viewpoint p.3;
Pasifika fono unites threads p.4;
A focus on Maori and Pasfika achievement p.5;
Under new management (appointment of PPTA General Secretary) p.6;
18,000 lone voices (EDUCANZ) p.7;
10 parties, 10 questions p.8;
ACC resource for healthy teen relationships p.10;
Students say it's not OK (anti-violence) p.11;
Charter disaster spans the globe (charter schools) p.12;
Teachers want subject-specific PLD p.13;
Parental leave, childcare credits and Novopay pitfalls (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Language teaching policy a matter of urgency p.14.

icon PPTA News August 2014 (volume 35 no. 7)



Flexibility or just twisted: school opening hours and term dates

Dates image from PPTA News Jul 2014Recently the minister of education expressed some enthusiasm for schools to have “flexibility” around opening hours and term dates. In going down this path she will join a long list of politicians who have burnt their fingers on that particular hot potato.

Schools set their own term dates ...

Over 20 years ago education minister Lockwood Smith proposed dispensing with national consistency around term dates and invited schools to play “set their own”, PPTA president Angela Roberts said.

“They did so with great enthusiasm and little regard for the impact on others.”

Result - widespread inconvenience  

Primary schools took it as an opportunity to experiment with the four-term year while most secondary schools retained the then current three-term year because it worked better for senior assessment.

“That caused widespread inconvenience. Parents who had children at more than one school were infuriated by the holiday mismatch, communities that used student labour in holidays found they were not available at the requisite times and rural communities degenerated into disputes about whose term dates would be served by school buses. Teachers were dismayed that they could not attend subject conferences and professional development because they no longer fell on universal between-term holidays.”

National term dates set ... but with an opt out

The following year, Smith set some national term dates but, because he was unable to concede that the invisible hand of the market could fail to produce anything but order and certainty, he perpetuated the confusion by allowing schools to opt out, Roberts said.

“The chaos continued and the level of frustration grew.”


PPTA news July 2014

The July 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary pptanewscoverjul2014Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.35 (6) July 2014

Table of contents:

Time to value teacher time - President's viewpoint p.3;
Workers rights still under threat p.4;
Public service strike breaks deadlock p.4;
Regional chairs ready for election p.5;
Low decile schools need support - report p.6;
Health and safety - who is responsible? p.7;
City's unending charter school trauma p.8;
Banks verdict gives government chance to walk away from charter schools p.9;
Spellbound p.10;
Big issue: simple solution (class size) p.11;
Early vote challenge: first to vote in 1893 and first to vote this year p.12;
Flexibility or just twisted (Term dates) p.13;
Good faith, natural justice and productive relationships (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Familiar face in the field (Jason Smythe) p.14.

icon PPTA News July 2014 (volume 35 no.6)



Novopay pulled up for illegal charging

It took a complaint to the Ministry of Education, an opinion from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and a determined PPTA executive member to stop Novopay illegally charging teachers for their own information.

Exec member Jack BoyleA number of PPTA members, including some senior managers responsible for payroll in their schools, made contact with PPTA after discovering Novopay was charging teachers to access their own payroll information. More specifically, an attempt by the Ministry of Education’s failed payroll contractor to impose a $103.50 charge on the NOVO9t form to obtain a Statement of Service.

PPTA President Angela Roberts made contact with the Ministry of Education’s deputy secretary responsible for Novopay Rebecca Elvy to question whether the charge was legal given an employee’s right to access their payroll information under the Employment Relations Act (ERA) and Privacy Act. The ministry refused to budge on the charge, stating Datacom used to charge $50 for the same information.

In one example, a deputy principal who was also his school’s payroll officer- was told by a Novopay call centre operator that, “such charges were common in Australia”.

This sounded fishy, so PPTA sought an opinion on the matter from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner who confirmed public agencies could not charge for such information and private agencies could only make minimal charges in-line with guidelines published by the Ministry of Justice.


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