Pensioners meet ahead of petition responses

Local News

The St. Clare’s Corporation wants to dissolve, however the former employees who have been told they will no longer be receiving their pensions are trying to stop that from happening.

With just few days until legal responses to a dissolution petition have to be filed, St. Clare’s pensioners have been meeting to discuss their next steps.

Roughly 60 pensioners gathered at Albany Law School today, asked lawyers questions about the St. Clare’s case.

“The legal front is underway, there is not a whole lot the pensioners themselves can do. So we are looking to work on other options and contacting the state lawmakers and trying to contact the bishop and the diocese and try to start a media campaign,” said Bob Bradley, Co-Chair of St. Clare’s Pension Committee.

The idea is to bring more awareness to the struggles that the former St. Clare’s Hospital employees have been facing.

Back in October, the 1,100 pensioners were notified that the pension plan was abruptly shutting down, after previously being told that the money would run out in the next 8 to 12 years.

Just last week, representatives of the St. Clare’s Corporation were in Schenectady County Court to discuss a petition to dissolve the corporation, something that the pensioners do not want to see happen.

“It’s the only conjugate we have for money to be infused into. If they close then where is that money going to go? It means we are going to have to start a pension plan or some group like that all over again, from scratch. And that doesn’t make any sense to us,” said Mary Hartshorne, Co-Chair of St. Clare’s Pension Committee.

The frustrated pensioners are hoping that the bishop, as well as local politicians and the governor, will help them get the money they were promised.

News 10 reached out the diocese for a comment but did not hear back.

“We are in this for the long haul. I am in this for the long haul, and I would like to see both the church and the state come together to help us out and find a way to financially refund our full pension back,” said Gina Martinelli-Painter, St. Clare’s pensioner.

The responses to the petition are due on April 30th, and they hope that the judge will give them a response in the next few weeks.

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