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STILL no operation, things now desperate.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by JustTired, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. JustTired

    JustTired New commenter

    Hello there. I posted a few months ago as I was off work on long term sick awaiting a shoulder operation and it was cancelled due to Covid. Lots of you were really kind and helpful. Well there's still no sign of me getting surgery any time soon and i'm in a very black place. I had a video call with work in May and told them I was unhappy about the lack of contact/support from school and they promised more, said they would get my head of department to keep in touch with me. Well, I had one email from him a week later and then nothing. I had one more call from the business manager and then just a couple of email reminders about my fit notes. And I'm running out of time! I am on half pay now, which JUST covers my monthly rent. I get ESA which is £74 a week and has to cover everything else. I was able to get payment holidays due to the Covid situation but they all finish now and payments are needed. My pay stops altogether at the end of November and I've been told that any housing benefit I can claim will only be half of my rent because I live alone in a tiny TWO bed flat. My relationship with my boyfriend is falling apart because of it and I just don't know how I can go on. I'm scared! Please can someone help?
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    How frustrating.
    Does your union have a hardship fund? This is the sort of situation they might well help with. (I can see NEU has one.) Also check for any local charities that might help, and see what you can arrange in the way of overdraft.

    Any chance of finding a lodger? (I know this might be difficult if the place is tiny, but it would help. Depending on where you are, maybe there's a chance of finding someone who needs just Mon-Thur because they're working away from home. A PGCE student?)
  3. handee2

    handee2 New commenter

    Get in touch with your MP. When I was waiting an operation scheduled for April but cancelled due to COVID, I contacted my MP via email explaining my situation. He got back in touch and then spoke to the hospital on my behalf. I also spoke to my GP who exerted his influence over the specialist. My operation was rescheduled 6 weeks later but I think without this intervention I would still be waiting rather than finishing my radiotherapy next week 3 months after my operation.

    I am not surprised that your relationship is under strain as you must be so worried. Could you live with family for a while and escape the rent situation? You need some looking after and, frustrating although your work situation is currently, I think this should take a back seat to getting the operation and getting some emotional support from family. Alternatively, someone might be able to loan you some money to help tide you over? I do not know your circumstances with regard to family but they are the ones that can help you push forward .

    I wish you the very best: I hope your surgery can be organised soon and when you are recovered you can switch focus back on your teaching job.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Speak to your GP about how you are feeling, not just to chase the operation.
    I honestly don't think the school can do a lot, but your union might help with finances.
  5. bajan

    bajan Occasional commenter

    Are you able to work from home?
  6. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    I didn't realise you got ESA if you were still getting half-pay from your employer. Would it be worth finding about about the private costs-some places do finance programmes, I've heard. There was a time I'd never have done anything but NHS, but after relatives have had some heartbreaking experiences (I won't go into detail here) I'm not so sure now. It might cost a bit, but if it effectively saves your job, relationship and mental wellbeing, it might be worth investigating whether you can afford a finance plan?
  7. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Has your work referred you to occupational health? If not you should ask them to do so as occupational health might be able to make recommendations to your employer about how they can better support you. I am assuming you are a teacher so you should also contact your Union for advice as, once your half pay ends, you could unfortunately be at risk of ill health dismissal.
    agathamorse and phlogiston like this.
  8. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    sorry you are in this situation. Best wishes xx
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    So sorry - what a miserable situation. And being in pain exacerbates everything. Make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible, to explain how you are feeling and to chase up the operation. You could also try the education support network and Citizens' Advice - it's worth talking to all of them, they may be able to suggest where you can get financial support. Very best wishes x
    cazzmusic1, agathamorse and JustTired like this.
  10. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Some good advice re: Union Hardship fund and contacting your MP above - do take some action and don't just let things continue. Even if little can be done, just knowing you've done all you can will, I think, help your mental well-being.
  11. JustTired

    JustTired New commenter

    Thank you all for your kind responses and advice. I couldn't reply earlier as I found myself in a very bad place. I have made an appointment to speak to my GP as many suggested and he should be contacting me later today. There is no possibility of getting my surgery privately, as it would be £6,500 that I don't have and couldn't afford to pay back. I have been referred to OH (twice) and it was their report that said I was not able to return to work until I after recovery from surgery due to lack of use of my right arm/hand and the fact that I'm on such high doses of morphine and amitriptyline that I struggle, especially in the morning as I'm like a zombie due to the painkillers that I need in order to sleep. I've made contact with CAB, and referred myself to the local housing helpline. I'm also contacting their benefits helpline so that they can advise me just how much help I will be entitled to. I know its not a lot, but I have been a UK taxpayer since I left school, have always worked and am now 54. I did contact my union (NEU) but they haven't been able to offer any suggestions. I would be so interested to know from anyone else in my position how much help and support they have had from their employer. I am a teacher, have been for 16 years, although unfortunately had only just just joined the school when this happened. I have had one Teams call (in May) and one call since from the business manager. I told her that I felt isolated and she said she would ask my HoD to keep in touch. I had one email from him, outlining plans for September (this was also end of May) and nothing since.The only contact since has been emails about my fit note. Should I be expecting more? Is this standard? I've never been long term sick before so I don't really know what is standard practise.
    Sorry for going on!
  12. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    You need to speak to the member of your SLT responsible for staff welfare. Your HoD doesn't seem to be the right person to be keeping in touch with you. They aren't at the right level to offer the type of support that you need.

    I hope CAB can give some practical advice. Did you ask them what support your employer is obliged to give?
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  13. old_dobbin

    old_dobbin Occasional commenter

    If you are a tenant, perhaps you could consider not paying rent for a while. You can't be evicted for at least six months, and it would probably be longer than that by the time it happened. it's not what you would prefer, I'm sure, but at least it would take some of the short term pressure off. You could explain the situation to your landlord and offer to pay when you can.
    agathamorse and JustTired like this.
  14. debrac

    debrac New commenter

    cazzmusic1 and agathamorse like this.
  15. JustTired

    JustTired New commenter

    Not really. I really struggle some days due to the high levels of meds that I am on. I wish I could do more.
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. JustTired

    JustTired New commenter

    Thanks, good point. I didn't ask about employer support as I know schools are pretty much a law unto themselves over such things.
  17. JustTired

    JustTired New commenter

    Thank you. It's so comforting just to know people care. :)
  18. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    https://neu.org.uk/trust-fund - the NEU should have pointed you at that but perhaps they were thinking employment rights rather than making ends meet when you talked to them.
    There's also a separate hardship fund for covid-related loss of income - targetted more at supply teachers and the like - I think the trust fund is more likely to be the right one for you, although your problem is partly covid-related.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I would advise strongly against this. On 20th September the current covid-related ban on evictions is due to end. You are struggling with stress now and this route will simply make it worse. If you are evicted your landlord has a right to ask the court for an order so that you pay him/her not only all the rent due, but also all the costs of the eviction, and he/she will almost certainly get such an order. That could add several thousands to the amount. In addition, having a CCJ against you will affect your credit rating for years and adversely affect whether you can rent, have a mortgage, get a phone, get a credit card, pay utilities by direct debit etc.
    Honestly, not good advice there.
    I'd suggest talking to your landlord and explaining the situation. Many landlords are quite human, and will listen sympathetically. Perhaps offer to pay half the rent, or something and say you'll pay the backlog when you're back at work.
    I also want to say that I'm so sorry for your difficult situation.
  20. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    I'm sorry but I think this is really poor advice. Advising you to break your contract in order to reduce stress and improve your well being is outrageous advice.

    You need proper support and you need to look for somewhere cheaper or someone to share with. Shirking your responsibility would add significantly to your problems. You don't want to be dealing with courts as well.
    IanG, agathamorse, JustTired and 2 others like this.

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