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Signed off with stress, do I need union involved?(9 Posts)
After a truly spectacular meltdown earlier in the week (which had been brewing for a while) I have been signed off two weeks by my GP with stress.
I haven't heard anything from school since sending the doctors note in and I am trying to concentrate on feeling better and not feeling guilty.
My question is, do I need to inform my union? I'm finding it really hard to talk about without either bursting into tears or feeling like I can't handle the job any more because I am a crap teacher. I can't even think how to begin the conversation. I'm also aware that SLT at my school are very anti-union. We currently have no rep for any of the unions.
I really feel like in just want to sleep for two weeks and not think about anything to do with work but I realise that's not particularly helpful. I feel so drained with it all.
I'm sure that had paragraphs in when I wrote it!
Is the stress work related, and is it something you need your employer to resolve before you can go back? If you think you might meet some resistance in getting the situation resolved, I would drop an email to your union and let them know you will be looking for advice/help, just to give them the warning, and time to find someone who can support you if there is no rep in your workplace. If it's just a case of you need the break and going back in two weeks with things as they are will be fine, then you dont need to speak to them. It all depends on what you think will happen after two weeks.
The main thing though right now is to focus on your well being, if you've got to the point of breakdown, you may need more than two weeks to recover anyway, dont put any pressure on yourself to bounce back, and dont have too high an expectation that things will be fine now you're off. It took some time for you to get to this point, it will take some time to heal.
yes please talk to them. They should be really supportive and help you work with the school to make any changes necessary
No need to get the Union involved, unless the school start to do things like emailing you loads of work. If you were ill with anything else eg. flu, broken leg, you wouldn't ring the union. It sounds like the school are doing the right thing so far TBH, i.e. they're leaving you be. It's well known that even a simple phone call from work asking if you're OK, can trigger even more stress, and cause someone to take even more time off - they're leaving you be for this reason.
I really feel like in just want to sleep for two weeks and not think about anything to do with work This is exactly what you need to do! Forget about work and just let your body do what it wants, if that's sleeping, then so be it, sleep. If you feel the need to get out of the house, then go out. If you had pneumonia, you'd be laid up in bed, sleeping. This is no different. You are ill!
Why not have a chat with the Education Support Partnership? They will be sympathetic and may have some helpful advice without having to feel that you've upset your school by seeking union advice or support? Hope you feel better soon, be kind to yourself www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk/looking-after-teacher-wellbeing
I would definitely contact your union. Towards the end of your two weeks away from school, you will need to think about going back to your GP or back to school. A union rep can help negotiate the latter.
If you don't return after two weeks, school may want to refer you to Occ Health. Your union rep can talk you through options either before or after your appointment.
Meanwhile, focus on getting well. When you feel able to think about school, you need to work out exactly what you want to happen. The union can have the conversations that are too difficult for you.
Yes! Protect yourself. You may have a brilliant understanding SLT team and school, but in case you don't - log it with the union.
Thanks all. It's really useful to hear your opinions. I'm finding it all very difficult to talk about if I'm honest. There's part of me that thinks all of this is just me being a rubbish teacher even though I've done it for more than ten years pretty successfully until now.
I think I will look up my regional office and drop them an email when I'm feeling a bit stronger. Today has not been a good day.
I have another doctor's appointment the day before my fit note runs out to discuss whether I go back or ask for more time so I guess it's just taking things one day at a time until then.
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