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Principals are contacting the Opposition to express concerns about finding out they are being left with thousands of dollars of bills due to reliever teachers or teachers funded by boards receiving a $1500 lump sum payment if they are union members, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“Novopay put out a notice which has led to principals’ concerns. The Government has dropped the ball by not providing funding to reimburse for the cost, which is what people assumed.

“This is another blow to principals, at the same as primary principals striking and secondary principals yet to settle. This will not help with settlement negotiations as principals see this as another example of poor treatment.

“In all of the communications from the Minster and the Ministry they never said they wouldn’t pay for a large group of teachers’ lump sum payments and that these costs would be passed on to boards.

“Paying the lump sum for relievers is complicated as to who pays the amount, as many relievers will have pro rata payments and may have worked at multiple schools.

“Principals and boards are going to have budget blowouts and will have to either fundraise or redirect money from student learning. The Minister either knew and deliberately didn’t mention there was no extra money covering this or he and the Ministry have been incompetent in not providing for this funding. 

“The Government should step in and do the right thing and rectify this.

“This is another example of poor communication and incompetence in the way that the settlement has been handled.”

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