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Jane123 Jane123 is offline
 
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Need Advice Desperately
Old 05-11-2019, 01:21 PM
 
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I have been on leave for a year and 5 months. I have gotten no pay for 6 months. The first year was long term disability through the union of 1500.00 a month. I was sick for a long time not knowing what was wrong. I was diagnosed finally with Chronic Lyme after getting the sickest I ever was, losing the ability to talk and walk for a short time and being bed ridden for months.

I attempted to go back after a year and could not. I was then diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. This basically means I cannot detox mold from my body.
Many with chronic Lyme are susceptible to this biotoxin illness . (CIRS)
It took a long time to diagnose these illnesses as they are not well known by mainstream doctors and some do not even believe in them. I assure you they are . I get very sick in homes with a higher level of mycotoxins than my body can handle. I am 1 in 4 people whom this affects. Yes, mold hurts everyone but just makes me sicker, quicker.

After finding out about this illness my doctor asked my school to test my classroom and other classrooms I had been in to see what the level of mycotoxins were. They did a very basic test in which the inspector concluded that there was no evidence of mold. This isn't really what we asked for.It is not mold itself that people get sick from, it is the mycotoxins (the spores) that can come from any source in the building. I was living in it as well and there was 0 visible mold. Inspectors also saw no evidence of mo. This is a great difficulty for CIRS patients. Mold can even be behind walls which the inspector does not see. My doctor notified the school that this test was not sufficient and my illness needed a mycotoxin report to see if I could handle the classroom. Union refused. The DOE after receiving my doctors letter had a lawyer contact me to see if there was anything else that could be done for me. I told them no, as no amount of air purifiers could possibly help me if the level was too high. Being left with no money and nowhere to live I asked for a trial period to work from my dr and he wrote a letter not stating a date. I sent it to my principal , asking to go back early from my leave.

He did not respond to the first email. After, I included union in it, he called my doctor asking which date.

In the meantime put in for retirement but asked them to hold it. My reason? I kept hearing the words retirement disability from union , that this was an option or to return to work when leave was over. I felt discouraged and ashamed that I had pestered union so much about the classroom testing. They had stopped answering me, even school safety would not return my calls.

I never said I wanted a lawsuit. I had thought of it though, since no one , including my union was taking my health seriously. I am assuming everyone stopped answering as they thought I was looking to sue. I told them many times I needed to know that I was safe. My questions are:

1. Do I have any rights with this? I can go in, get sick and then end up without money again if the mycotoxins are too high. I am scared of this.

2. Is it ok for union to stop communicating with me? Yes, I have called numerous times. I have been petrified and needed guidance.

3. Is my principal allowed to call my doctor for a date of return ? Why would he not just email me back asking to have my doctor write a date in the letter? I included the date in the email. He is a new principal.

4. I'm petrified to go back . There are a few reasons. First, I have gotten ill alot in the last 8 years especially and took a few leaves (a month at a time). I never knew what was wrong. 2. I am devastated that not one colleague cared to call me . I know that is silly , but it is how I feel. 3. I am ashamed of my illness and trying so many times to go in and failing. I am afraid others think it is not real.
Edit: The last person I spoke to was one below the president. He pretty much said the same as everyone.
I would appreciate any feedback on this topic.



Last edited by Jane123; 05-11-2019 at 05:16 PM.. Reason: To add more information
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1totravel 1totravel is offline
 
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:07 PM
 
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I can't speak to all of it, but if you are paying union member they should be responding back to you. Every union has an office they work out of. You might have better luck going in and speaking to a higher up, such as the union president, or also the person above the president (every district in CA, for example, also has a person hired at the state level, CTA) that works with the union). Best wishes to you!
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juliet4 juliet4 is offline
 
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Lyme
Old 05-11-2019, 04:11 PM
 
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I really do not know what you should do about union. Perhaps go to the state union or even osha to test the rooms. I am answering more about the Lyme. This is a devastating disease. I know many people here in RI that have become very ill. I had erchlicosis, which is a tic borne disease, and have never been sicker. Thank goodness I was put on antibiotics immediately and it was kept in check. I have a teacher friend who got a pacemaker because they thought it was her heart and it ended up being Lyme. She has not worked in many months as hers caused severe mental confusion. It even caused the death of a local high school teacher a few years ago. You should NOT be embarrassed! This is a serious health concern if not caught immediately. A friends daughter is now trying acupuncture and it seems to help relieve her symptoms. Doctors are stymied by this disease. Your school should support you...
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:46 PM
 
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1) I’d go to OSHA.

2) as for the union you can sue for lack of appropriate representation, but before you do that we have what’s called a UNISERV director. They’re kind of over the President. When I was having problems with the president of my union I contacted the uniserv person. She was wonderful. She works for the state, not the local union. They’re better trained and not linked to your district. You can contact your state union and ask. That would be my next step were I in your shoes. I’d set up an appointment and bring all my documentation with the union person I spoke to, my P, everyone.

Good luck, I can’t imagine how scary this is.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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Uniserv
Old 05-11-2019, 07:16 PM
 
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Quote:
as for the union you can sue for lack of appropriate representation, but before you do that we have what’s called a UNISERV director.

I looked for this online and do not see anything like it for NYC. Is it called UNISERV for all cities?


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Get well
Old 05-12-2019, 03:19 AM
 
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You should do what is best for your health. I have no background or knowledge about Lyme disease or recovery period. It just sounds awful and I would not go back to the classroom or any workplace until I am 100%.
Short answer-if you can retire, do it. Take care of you.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:52 AM
 
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I donít know what itís called in other states, I only know IL.
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Disability Retirement
Old 05-12-2019, 04:11 AM
 
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I would seriously look into this and see whether this or regular retirement give you more. Please take care of yourself and your health.

Once you retire you will be free to do something else if you wish, in a place that doesnít make you school is not going to make your workplace healthy for you.

Please let us know what you decide. You wouldnít be the first to leave for health reasons, and you wonít be the last. Itís ok, really. Take care of YOU!
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Thoughts...
Old 05-12-2019, 04:11 AM
 
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I agree with Greyhound Girl. You need to contact the people who oversee your union. That might mean contacting someone at the state level.

You mentioned that you had been on disability. I would think you could still be on disability so I would look into that also. I think your state organization could help with this also.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:20 AM
 
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My dr. advised notifying OHSA about any mold concerns. She herself had done this for the office she worked in.
Once OSHA is notified, complete testing will be done.
The teacher across the hall from me was in a classroom with years of water leaks into carpeting. The district did minimal testing.
Once OSHA was notified, complete testing, including drilling into the walls and floor, was done. The classroom ended up being gutted because of the mold.

I think you need to notify OSHA. Perhaps your dr. could help with this.


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Mold attack
Old 05-12-2019, 07:16 AM
 
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on a speech therapist at one school was ignored and she was even sent by the district for a psych eval for her physical symptoms.

They finally checked inside the wall of her tiny enclosed therapy room and found black mold. She still has some residual health problems decades later.

Do not depend on the district to rectify this, but get outside OSHA and/or any other agency including national union office assistance.
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Sorry
Old 05-12-2019, 12:15 PM
 
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That I donít know about your issues, but wanted to let you know that once you are up to it, you could teach for VIPKID teaching English online. I teach with them and am
Just trying to supplement my income but some people do it as their full time job and make $1500-2000 a month.
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Jane123 Jane123 is offline
 
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Psych Evaluation
Old 05-12-2019, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
on a speech therapist at one school was ignored and she was even sent by the district for a psych eval for her physical symptoms.
That is horrible. Interestingly, mold toxicity causes psychiatric symptoms, so they were to blame.

I have been hesitant to call OSHA but maybe I have to. I have been looking for this national union, it is a great next step. Thank you.
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Disability
Old 05-12-2019, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
You mentioned that you had been on disability. I would think you could still be on disability so I would look into that also. I think your state organization could help with this also.
Yes I was on disability for a year being paid from the union. They only pay up to a year. Yes, it is a good idea to try and contact someone at state level. I appreciate all the advice.
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