SRHS retirees use shirts to send message about pension debacle - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

SRHS retirees use shirts to send message about pension debacle

"Do The Right Thing" shirts have been made to send strong messages that several retirees and employees are fed up. (Photo source: WLOX) "Do The Right Thing" shirts have been made to send strong messages that several retirees and employees are fed up. (Photo source: WLOX)
In 2009, the hospital system stopped contributing to the pension fund. (Photo source: WLOX) In 2009, the hospital system stopped contributing to the pension fund. (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Brenda Eiland worked for Singing River Health System for decades and recently found out, like many others, her retirement checks were in jeopardy. In 2009, the hospital system stopped contributing to the pension fund.

"What the hospital has done is just not the right thing to do," Eiland said.

Now, "Do The Right Thing" shirts have been made to send strong messages that several retirees and employees are fed up. Trudy Nelson helped organized a shirt drive Sunday to hand them out.

"One of the retirees came up with the slogan, ordered the shirts and she paid for them out of her pocket. We had a $100 donation to cover the cost that couldn't afford it. Now, we are asking for a $5 donation to help reimburse the retiree," Nelson said.

She said the shirts have been a big hit in the county.

"Over 100 people have given donations for the shirts. These are not just for the employees and retirees. It is for the community of Jackson County," said Nelson.

These supporters admit there are people fearful about the under funded plan being liquidated and terminated. They hope the more county leaders and hospital officials see these words, things will change for the better.

"Our plan is to wear these to the board of supervisors meeting, the board of trustees meeting and any of the court dates, just to show we are united. We would like Jackson County and the elected officials of Jackson County to do the right thing and find out what happen to the money in the pension plan," said Nelson.

"Start from the bottom with the retirees, give them back their pension and everybody needs their money month to month. They plan their life around that pension check. Start there, and then go up. Everything will work out much better," Eiland said.

The health system entered into a 90 day Memorandum of Agreement at the end of last year with the Jackson County Board of Supervisors to continue to jointly seek viable options to address the system's financial and operating pressures, including its pension plan.

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