SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Senator Jim Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara have been trying to help the St. Clare’s pensioners meet with Governor Kathy Hochul. They say all they want is five minutes of her time to ask for her help.
The governor’s office told NEWS10 they look forward to working with legislators on a solution, but these two lawmakers, whose districts include many of the struggling pensioners, are not impressed by that response.
“The answer she gave was the same answer, unfortunately, that politicians on every level are saying: we are supportive, we want to work with you, but there’s somebody else who is responsible for making you whole,” Tedisco said.
“We’re hearing statements come back and forth, we’re hearing things through media and press, but what we’re not seeing is an acknowledgment, or actually contacting 1100+ former healthcare workers,” Santabarbara said.
There have been court proceedings and an investigation to get to the bottom of where the money for these health care workers went. Santabarbara found out from the Attorney General’s office two years ago that insurance, though voted on by the pension board for the program, was never actually purchased. Meanwhile, the pensioners are still hoping for developments to continue in their lawsuit against the diocese.
“There are a number of things and a number of entities, or people, that should be held accountable at the end of all of this,” Santabarbara explained.
$86 billion in the last federal stimulus package went to bailing out failing pension plans, but that didn’t include former St. Clare’s employees. Tedisco wants Governor Hochul to work with federal representatives to get these pensioners included in the next round of relief.
“There’s a two and a half to $3 trillion one coming up now, for what they call partially ‘human infrastructure.’ There’s no more crumbling human infrastructure in the state of New York than those 1,100 Saint Clare’s pensioners who don’t know where their economic future is going to come from,” Tedisco said.
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