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Old 10-03-2017, 02:52 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
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1,000 St. Joseph Retirees Hear Horrors of Impact of Pension Fund Collapse

An estimated 1,000 St. Joseph Health Services retirees attended a presentation by receiver Stephen Del Sesto, a host of other attorneys, and union officials at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet on Monday.
The crowd heard about the hideous impact of the fund's collapse on retirees.

Arlene Violet told the story of a 99-year-old retired nurse from St. Joseph's, who worked for the hospital for 50 years and earns in pension payments $209 dollars a month and now faces a 40 percent cut in her benefits.

“The bad guys have to pony up the money to make folks whole,” said Violet, who is the past has singled out the Diocese of Providence, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, CharterCARE for failure to protect retirees and fulfill their responsibilities.

“Are we going to ask her (the 99-year-old) retiree to go back to work?” asked Violet.

“Shame on those responsible.”

Receiver Del Sesto Gives Overview

The meeting began with an overview by Del Sesto who outlined the process and told the crowd that ultimately the different classes of retirees would need to separate into distinct groups.

Del Sesto outlined the process going forward and that the next milestone will be an October 11 court appearance before Judge Brian Stern. Del Sesto said, “Everyone in this room has been harmed.”

Then, Del Sesto heard from the audience, who fired questions ranging from the failure of the Diocese of Providence to properly fund the pension fund to why didn’t Kilmartin protect their interests.

A number of speakers pointed the finger at CharterCARE who is owned by for-profit healthcare giant Prospect. CharterCARE purchased St.Joseph in 2014 and in that transaction left the pension fund orphaned. The transaction was reviewed and approved under the Hospital Conversion Act and approved by Kilmartin.

Jack Callaci, Director, Collective Bargaining and Organizing for the United Nurses & Allied Professionals (UNAP) -- which is a regional healthcare union representing approximately 6,500 nurses, technologists, therapists, support staff, and other healthcare workers employed in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Connecticut -- said the group needed to be diligent in taking its message to the Diocese and CharterCARE and others responsible to "keep their promise."
CharterCARE refused to answer questions about the comments made by retirees.

The Diocese of Providence has repeatedly refused to answer questions about its role in the pension fund's collapse, but Bishop Thomas Tobin has announced that he is "praying" for retirees.


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