SRHS retirees make bolder protest with pickets - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

SRHS retirees make bolder protest with pickets

The pension plan protest by retires took a bolder step Wednesday with a picket line at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX) The pension plan protest by retires took a bolder step Wednesday with a picket line at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

Members of the Singing River Health System HOPES Retirees Group set out to make a bigger statement than ever before, and they made it.

The group of retirees picketed Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula with one clear message: Save the pension plan.

“All we're doing is trying to get them to change their vote and reinstate the pension plan,” Eddie Manning told the group before they officially began the event.”

Manning isn't a Singing River Health System retiree, but his wife is. He's fighting for other retirees of the system and current employees who may not be able to retire when they originally planned.

He was one of 40 to 50 people who took to the picket line to protest the decision to end the pension plan at the same time the SRHS Board of Trustees was meeting.

The protest was calm and orderly, even friendly, with the occasional horn honking in support.

In November, the 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.

CEO Kevin Holland has said Singing River is losing more than $30 million a year.

The health system operates county-owned hospitals in Pascagoula and Ocean Springs, employing 2,400 people.

A stay order issued by a federal judge is keeping the pension from being dissolved until March 15. That's getting uncomfortably close for Dale Poole, whose retirement check pays for his house. He said he's ready for a fight if necessary.

“If they're not going to be fair about it, I've got four attorneys waiting right now to hook me up, but I want to wait to see what kind of offer they make,” said Poole.

Ralph Drury worked with the system for 32 years and was in charge of all the construction projects. High out-of-pocket medical bills make him desperate for the pension.

“Plus our house note, automobile note, lights and water and medical bills. We couldn't survive,” said Drury.

Manning believes because the board of trustees is down to six members, protests like this one may get the board to change its mind.

“We hope it will,” he said. “Who's to say? Maybe we can change some hearts in there.”

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Two arrested for burglary and restaurant fire, police say

    Two arrested for burglary and restaurant fire, police say

    Friday, January 19 2018 9:43 PM EST2018-01-20 02:43:18 GMT
    Police say the suspects took a safe and a cash register before setting the restaurant ablaze. (Photo Source: WLOX)Police say the suspects took a safe and a cash register before setting the restaurant ablaze. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Two men have been arrested after they allegedly stole from a Saucier restaurant and set the building on fire. 

    More >>

    Two men have been arrested after they allegedly stole from a Saucier restaurant and set the building on fire. 

    More >>
  • USS Fitzgerald welcomed to new home in Pascagoula

    USS Fitzgerald welcomed to new home in Pascagoula

    Friday, January 19 2018 6:56 PM EST2018-01-19 23:56:37 GMT
    The USS Fitzgerald will undergo a two-year repair and upgrade at Ingalls Shipbuilding. (Photo Source: WLOX)The USS Fitzgerald will undergo a two-year repair and upgrade at Ingalls Shipbuilding. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Some of the USS Fitzgerald’s crew joined hundreds of others at Point Park to see the destroyer slowly make its way to the Port of Pascagoula.

    More >>

    Some of the USS Fitzgerald’s crew joined hundreds of others at Point Park to see the destroyer slowly make its way to the Port of Pascagoula.

    More >>
  • Three people shot at Biloxi nightclub

    Three people shot at Biloxi nightclub

    Saturday, January 20 2018 3:37 AM EST2018-01-20 08:37:34 GMT
    (Source: File)(Source: File)

    Biloxi Police are searching for a man they believed opened fire outside a nightclub late Friday, injuring three people. It happened in the parking lot of the Horseshoe Lounge, a gentleman's club on Veterans Avenue. 

    More >>

    Biloxi Police are searching for a man they believed opened fire outside a nightclub late Friday, injuring three people. It happened in the parking lot of the Horseshoe Lounge, a gentleman's club on Veterans Avenue. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly