…..It’s the 1st of September, and from today I will be counting my days off again, religiously!…..
OMG: That’s it, the summer is done with and school restarts on Monday.
In planning the new timetable for September 2011, I pleaded with the Management to decrease my working hours. 3 days has once again proved too much for me-but they said they needed me to work 3 days next year too, so I am stuck with it. 2 days would be my optimum. Enough to keep my foot in the door and to not think my illness had won and my lungs had failed me, but hey ho-they need me there teaching, 3 days a week once again next academic year.
And of course it was inevitable I would exceed my ‘allowed’ quota of sick days (9 per 6 month period) again in 2010-11, as I’d totalled up 17 in the 1st 6 months and 9 in the 2nd-therefore 26 in all. (By the way, there have been several members of staff off sick more than me this year, I keep a kind of mental track record, and even with my lungs I am not the worst!)
I had a meeting with the Head in June: he said they would increase my allowed sick days but this is so silly as with an illness like mine there is absolutely no knowing when I’ll be really sick, and for how long-I’ve done so well to dodge the hospital-especially back in November ’10- but if I’d given in and gone in, then I’d no doubt have had even more days off due to incarcerations.
I just said the usual to him-that I’d continue doing my utmost to be there if it was physically possible and safe for me to be at school teaching.
I’ve never taken the micky with sickies-I am very often at school when I’m too sick to do a good job. It drives me mad how many people can feign illness when I do my utmost to feign health!
I have regular appointments with the School Board’s Occupational Health Dr who determines whether I am well enough to be at work-and she has more control over this than my own GP. Time and time again she tells me I need to signed off and at home resting, she does not consider my level of lung disease something to be at work with, but I am particularly good at smiling and pleading I’ll cope. I am also protected by the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), and in 2009 won an award from the Access to Work scheme who now support me in the workplace and bought me my Scootie to enable me to get around at school and cope with my breathlessness better.
However, like all of us who live with constant chronic illness, I do wonder how long I can keep this working thing going. I love it so much, which is why I wont give it up easily, I have pleaded with them to decrease my hours from September 2011, and I am hoping that I will be able to get them to agree that I can now come in later on a Thursday, as my timetable shows a double free p1 and 2. This would give me 2 early starts on Wednesday and Friday , and not 3 in a row. We’ll see.
But in the light of day, a School Sickness “Allowance”?
And considering these places are veritable germ factories,
….Can there really be such a thing?….