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Covid and Work, Covid Advice and General Chat

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Max68, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Glad Unison are helping as you quite rightly said before that in the main a Union might not help you for anything that's been occurring before you join. I learnt that when I had a personality issue at a previous job and they were unable to help so therefore I joined up. A quick mention actually is that if you are unemployed at some stage Unison membership drops to I think £4 a year or something whilst you are unemployed so worth making a note of that.

    What I would say though as a bit of advice is the Union will take a rather bullish standpoint on things which of course is understandable as it is their job. However if you like your job you may feel uncomfortable with some of the advice they give. For instance when I went to 3 days work from home last year Unison said I should have been paid my full contract rather than for 3 days whereas to keep things smooth I accepted the schools offer because a) I was working from home which I wanted at the time and b) I didn't see the point in rocking the boat. When it came to the school dragging their feet on the Risk Assessment I "did" get the Union more involved and whilst the school weren't over happy with this I had requested it myself several times.

    My point is the Union is very black and white/right or wrong, but in my case anyway when there wasn't really much else anyone could do when I decided I to leave myself and the school were still on good terms that they want me to reapply once things are safe(r). They might well not have said that if I had gone with the Union every time. For me it's a case sometimes of taking the advice from the Union but a bit of give and take compromise between employee and employer is good. Obviously it's down to both sides so if the employers aren't playing ball then you have nothing to lose by going with all Union advise.

    Certainly the Union are bang on expecting you to be paid for January but there may be situations in the future where you and the employer may decide on a private agreement that suits you both,.

    In a nutshell don't feel you have to be bullied by either employer or Union.
     
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  2. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Thank you Max for sharing your experience in a well written informative post, much appreciated..
    I did look online at Unisons reviews this morning and quite frankly they were not goo at all, so I thought I would wait to see if they contacted me and they did.
    The problem is that no one contacted me regarding my January 4th email, also I telephoned my school escort coordinator to make sure HCC knew what I was doing. An email out of the blue, with a month's gap is the problem, as I understood, no news was good news. I did all I could to inform them.
    Funnily enough, they were quick to answer my very recent emails................ I won't let anyone try to bully me.
    Many thanks
     
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  3. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    It's a pleasure, no problem at all. I would say that Unison, like many organisations, can probably differ in service from county to county. Certainly in the South East I have found them very good. Good luck and keep us updated...
     
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  4. JRT

    JRT · Well-Known Member

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    Wise words from Max68. Your scenario is so similar to mine RobinRedbreast.
    Just over a year ago the first wave was about to hit. The advice seemed to be that all of those who were in receipt of flu jab would be asked to self isolate, I even had screen shots to prove it. I contacted my employer and told them why I wouldnt be in and they had no problem with it,even had a form ready to be filled over phone confirming I was self isolating because diabetic.
    As far as I was concerned if my employer were accepting the fact it was fine,if you were 5 minutes late for a shift youd get a phone call!
    I heard nothing from them during March/April. Not surprised they were a care home overwhelmed by Covid.
    When I did hear from them they assumed I was shielding and a complex saga began!
    I remember my Unison rep asking me if on that first phone call I had asked how my absence was being viewed! I replied that no I hadnt as I was so relieved that my employers obviously felt it was justified and tbh I was just glad to be safe.
    Unison vary. I think they are fighting the situation with legislation that doesnt quite fit the pandemic. I know he told me people who were shielded were struggling with employers.
    As you work for the council, I assume you do, they may be more cooperative than the private sector.
    I was exceptionally lucky in that I had a small amount of savings I could live on.
    By September I had had enough of the endless supplying info to an employer who were dragging their feet. They weren't paying me, I doubted I would work for them again.
    We were stalemate and the process was stressful.
    The only thing I would potentially suggest if the situation isnt remedied quickly is applying for Universal Credit. My Union rep suggested it to me.
    Obviously I dont know your circumstances. There are websites such as Entitled To which can give you an indication of what you can get.
    Initially I was a bit bemused by suggestion as when working I earned to much! Of course at that stage I was employed but not being paid so I was entitled.
    It's a tiny sum but will pay council tax etc,dental treatment, help with rent.
    As I say,it may be totally inappropriate for your circumstances but if you are not being paid may help. It also takes five weeks from application to first payment so may be worth applying sooner rather than later. If everything is resolved you just wont get it!
    Good luck!
     
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  5. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Well interestingly my old colleagues of all ages at the SEN School that I left back in October have been invited to have the vaccine and some have booked appointments already. The Head received a letter from the NHS inviting all staff at SEN schools. Obviously delighted for them but I haven't seen anything official on this as I assumed that they were going down the age and vulnerability ladder week by week. So technically I would have received the vaccine quicker if I had stayed than I would as of now when I am self shielding so to speak. Mmmn??!!
     
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  6. JRT

    JRT · Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if in your area it's similar to mine and they seem to be moving down to the shielded group? Maybe as they dont vaccinate childeren it's the only way they can reopen schools with medically vulnerable childeren.
    I feel your frustration though! A year ago diabetes was the main condition associated with covid. I know they have learned more and understand the group system, but that vaccine seems so tantalising close and yet so far. I have everything crossed that Govt dont mess it up.
    I did have the possibility of having the vaccine at the beginning of the year via the care home I was still employed by at the time. To me however it felt dishonest as knew I wouldnt be returning to care.
    Both my daughters who work in care have had first vaccination. I do find it frustrating that I'm high risk and still waiting! Still,it was my decision!
     
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  7. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah maybe. Don't know why they are so cloak and dagger about it though as the lists don't include school staff at the moment. Don't get me wrong I think school staff should be on there and I am delighted for them all at my old school, but the Government and Locality should be transparent about it as cloak and dagger always creates problems.
     
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  8. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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  9. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Thanks so much for your post. The problem is, it's the not knowing, no word from them, my union rep said let's wait to hear from them and I replied, I hope it's sooner than later. I'm not sleeping, it's on my mind all the time, blood sugar levels have been horrendous,. really ill. I'm trying to keep busy, but my concentration is poor, I feel very stressed and it's been making me feel anxious about the outcome, it's constantly on my mind.
    I have been on universal credit, as I am furloughed on my other job ( it's a zero hour contract which fitted in at weekends and school holidays) now, some rumour's of possible job losses are surfacing, so not feeling very positive at the moment.
     
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  10. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    I work within the school environment and I am now getting my vaccine much earlier than expected.
     
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  11. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Expert

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    I’ve seen several mentions of staff that perform “caring” functions for the children getting the vaccines under that label rather than as teachers. That should not include admin and “non care function” staff though.
     
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  12. JRT

    JRT · Well-Known Member

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    I totally identify with how you are feeling,as you say it's the uncertainty. I also felt angry at feeling I was constantly having to explain and justify risk. From working in the private sector I was on to a non winner,basically nice words but you are a number. They wonder why they cant keep staff!
    By September I told the Union rep I'd had enough. On one occasion hed asked me what I wanted and I had replied just to be treated fairly and with respect. By the September I just wanted not to have to fight what seemed a pointless battle for a job I didnt want to go back to!
    I think there is hope in your case,schools although not perfect do consider the health of there staff in a way the private sector dont.
    The news that you will soon be having vaccine is also brilliant. Although have to wait for protection to build and still have to be careful it's a game changer.
    The relentless uncertainty is awful.
    We dont know what they are going to do about the furlough scheme,last week there was talk of extending it until September. This week they have also said the economy is not as badly affected as they thought it would be.
    It's an incredibly hard thing to do but all you can do is live in the moment. The situations that are causing you so much stress are beyond your control. You have done all you can by contacting the Union and employers. Things may very well all work out ok. If there are issues you can tackle as arise.
    Meanwhile try and focus on things that distract you and you enjoy. Mindfulness Apps can help.
    As I say its difficult when everything is so overwhelming, but this will end and things will get better.
     
  13. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for placing this on here but I didn't think a new thread was needed. Absolutely gutted today, although not over surprised, that my first HBA1c result since last June has come back as 70 which is my highest since diagnosis in 2011. Previous highest was in 2015 when it was 64. Gutted because my readings in April 18, November 18 and June 19 were 49, 49, 48. It jumped to 58 in December 2019 but I got it down to 51 in June 20 so a 19 point jump in 8 months is worrying and depressing.

    Haven't helped myself to be fair as I have sneaked back into the comfort foods with winter and dealing with the situation with mum in a care home but it's no excuse. I know chips and chocolate toffees aren't doing me any good! Plus that ball of the foot problem meant I couldn't walk for over a month which dented the exercise but I have been back pounding the pavements once every two days, or sometimes every day, as the foot is improving so was hoping the last three weeks back walking would have helped but not so obviously. Will try and walk for that 45 mins to an hour every day now if I can.

    Spoke to the GP about something else today and she suddenly said my results from this morning came back quickly and she wanted me to book an appointment with the Diabetic Doctor although there aren't any appointments until the 22nd. She says the other GP will probably discuss diet and new medications to put me on as I already take four metformin a day so not sure what the new meds will be, on top of every other pill I take!! I didn't even bother asking about cholesterol etc!!

    Really don't know how to improve the diet, bar cutting back again on the obvious carbs and sugars obviously. I live on my own and I'm no Gordon Ramsey and have suffered with IBS for years but keep it at bay by avoiding roughage and vegetables so a bit lost on what to do bar having egg, bacon and sausages every day!

    Sorry for the off topic rant but it's really devastated me that has..
     
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  14. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sending you hugs Max, I understand it's s blow, but you've had an awful lot to deal with, with all your work related issues, your mum getting Covid and your foot problem, as well as lockdown etc. Your stress levels will have pushed bg's up, and it's no wonder you turned to comfort food. Try to see it as a blip, and maybe look on the low carb threads on the forum for some new recipe ideas. Sorry I can't suggest much else, as you're already walking more, but I know what it's like when levels are not where we want them to be.

    I hope your mum is ok now. Take care.
     
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  15. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. We aren't sure. GP rang to discuss what we wanted to do re end of life care if it came to that as he said a lot of older people in care homes pick up a bit (like mum has) and then deteriorate. Haven't heard anything for two days so hopefully that's a positive but we did get an email yesterday and I know the home has lost residents, some who have been there years. Got to see the GP Monday with a lymph node/cyst (or that's what a GP told me several years ago) just below my ear which I have become aware of again which is more stress on top of everything else!" GP said on the phone that if I have had it for 6 or 7 years it's unlikely to be anything sinister but that's yet another worry. The thought of no more ham, egg and chips just adds to the ongoing frustration as food is the one enjoyment I have found. Probably,,,,, sorry obviously enjoyed it too much the last few months! Sorry just can't see much light at the end of the tunnel with anything at the moment!
     
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  16. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Please don't apologise, there's no need. You're having a rough time that is lasting a long time as well, and anybody in your situation would be finding it hard going, especially when extra stress keeps being added. I hope and pray that you get more positive news about your mum, and that all is ok at your GP appointment on Monday. Maybe it would be worth chatting to your GP about how you're feeling about everything.
    Sending big hugs.
     
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  17. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank u so much. Just heard tonight a good mate has gone down with Covid. The first of the Famous Five as we used to call ourselves, although I doubt Enid Blyton would have written about some of the stuff we got up to!! He is probably the healthiest of us all though so fingers crossed he will be fine.

    Decided I'm going to load the shopping basket with chicken, Turkey, cheese, salmon, chops, mince etc and go back to brown versions of rice and bread and have smaller portion sizes of those. I slipped back into the white versions too easily, after all a bacon sandwich with brown bread, eughh!! Meat is all good, it's just what to have with it. Potatoes being carbs is a disaster!!! Sometimes I think that if there is such a thing as reincarnation, knowing my luck I'll come back as me!! :banghead:
     
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  18. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    So sorry about your mate, hope he will soon recover. Talk about it never rains, but it pours!! Hope you get some better news soon. I'm not the best person to ask about low carb, sorry, but saw someone else had suggested celeriac chips and cauliflower rice in another thread. Could you manage a small portion without it upsetting your ibs? I suffer from ibs too, and find it hard to know what to eat at times, but am ok with limited amounts of vegetables. Maybe it would be worth googling some things you like putting keto before them, e.g. Keto bread to get low carb alternatives. I know there's bread made with almond flour which is low carb. I got the flour to try it, but it's still sitting in the packet!!!
     
  19. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi Max. It’s not really for this thread, but you might find joining in the ‘What have you eaten today?’ thread in the low carb forum helpful. Lots of creative cooks in there finding alternatives to potatoes etc. It’s a friendly chatty thread.
     
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  20. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    @Hopeful34 Goonergal

    Thank you both. I'll have a look at that thread. Must confess thinking about it I have stopped taking at least two of my metformin tablets because I don't eat lunch anymore which probably hasn't helped. I'll pop over during the day.
     
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