St. Joseph health services picket - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

St. Joseph health services picket

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By: News Staff

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Retirees from Saint Joseph’s and Fatima Hospitals were fighting an effort to slash their pensions Wednesday morning.

Dozens of them marched in front the Providence Diocese and the Providence Superior Court.

They claimed that Bishop Tobin and the diocese were aware of the fund’s financial troubles and did not speak up.

The pension plan was placed into receivership back in August nearly three years after the diocese sold the hospitals to a “for-profit” company.

“For this to happen in the first place is totally either…somebody was either stupid or buffoons or it was deliberate. That’s my opinion, how do you just ignore a pension and not make sure it’s there for all these people,” said Fatima Hospital nurse, Linda Myers.

The diocese said in a statement that it did not create the pension crisis saying they have not been involved in the administration or management of the hospitals for over 50 years.

Here is the statement the Diocese of Providence sent to ABC6 News:

Those concerned about the pension situation of St. Joseph Health Services are good people who worked long and hard in the health care field. The Diocese of Providence understands and shares their concerns, and we hope that their difficult situation will come to a positive resolution as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, they have been given some misleading information about this very complex situation. The Diocese of Providence has not been involved in the administration or management of the hospitals for over 50 years. The Diocese of Providence did not create this problem and we are not able to resolve it.

There were many different parties involved in the corporate transaction between CharterCare and Prospect Medical Holdings in 2014 that led to the current pension problem. Transparency and cooperation from all parties will be important going forward if this problem is to be resolved.

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