Skip to content

Oates ES teacher learns value of SSLB after unexpected surgery

2014 May 15
by HISD Communications
Louvenia Matthews

Louvenia Matthews

When Louvenia Matthews first started contributing to the Supplemental Sick Leave Bank (SSLB) back in the early aughts, she never dreamed she would one day be using it herself.

But that’s precisely what happened to the life skills teacher from Oates Elementary School when she faced an unexpected surgery less than two years after she had been out for another health crisis.

“In 2011, I had meningitis, and I had to use up all of my days,” explained Matthews. “Then last August, I had to have surgery, and I only had about 15 hours built back up, so that week I used up all of my days, and I had to apply.”

The SSLB offers participants up to 30 additional paid leave days in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury, resulting in an extended absence from work. Eligible employees must agree to contribute one day of their earned Local Leave time to the SSLB to participate.

“I donated the hours every year without giving it too much thought,” said Matthews, “but I was so glad the program was in place when I needed it. I tell everybody I can about [SSLB], because you just don’t know what’s going to happen in life. [Without the SSLB], it would have been a disaster. I would have been up the creek without a paddle, because I’m the main breadwinner. And I am just so grateful.”

For more information on the SSLB, please visit the Benefits website or see this related article on the May 19–30 enrollment period.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Janet Harasim permalink
    May 16, 2014

    Please be aware that when you retire, those days are not available to you. SSLB is a”bank” as long as you are employed by the district. If you do not use them, you lose them.

    • HISD Communications permalink
      May 20, 2014

      True, but the SSLB was never intended to be a form of compensation that employees could take with them or be reimbursed for when they left the district (as in the case of earned state leave). It’s more like an insurance policy you take out on your home or car. Nobody ever makes payments on those hoping that someday their property will be destroyed so they can “get their money back,” but it’s comforting to know that the coverage is there, if the worst should happen. The same thing applies to the SSLB. You “pay the premium” every year by contributing a little bit of your own earned leave time to “buy into” the bank, and if you ever need to use it (God forbid), you can.

  2. earnetta qualls permalink
    May 16, 2014

    praying for you. god is good

  3. Majorie V. School Nurse permalink
    May 16, 2014

    I try to encourage all my coworkers to enroll in SSLB. It saved me during my maternity leave before my short term disability would have kicked in. By that time, I was back at work. SSLB is truly a life saver.

  4. Sharon permalink
    May 17, 2014

    I too am A participant in the SSLB and am glad I can help those in need.
    You never know when it might be you. I am glad your are better!

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS