JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Be our hero, save our pension plan. That's the message Singing River Health System retirees are sending to the SRHS Board of Trustees and the health system's senior management.
Retirees are set to picket a SRHS Board of Trustees meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The retirees have been working tirelessly for months to spread the word of what they are calling a "grave injustice."
In November, the SRHS Board of Trustees voted to terminate the pension plan after the system stopped contributing to the fund in 2009. Since then, several retirees have filed lawsuits against the health system.
Officials with the SRHS Hopes Retirees Group say they have been criticized by health system administrators for trying to cripple the health care facility. Group members say it's not their mission to cripple SRHS, but rather to "allow current retirees and those vested in the plan to continue to receive the promised benefits of said plan."
"We know what we stand for and that is for justice to prevail, for the complete truth to be told on how they (SRHS) didn't contribute to the pension plan, but found ways to fund extravagant retreats, creation of chief level officers and the erection of multi-million dollar buildings," said one SRHS retiree.
A stay order issued by a federal judge is keeping the pension from being dissolved until March 15.
Mike Lacy is covering the picket this afternoon. Look for his story tonight on WLOX News at 10 p.m. and on WLOX.com.