Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara participated in a video conference today, December 28th, with state Attorney General Letitia James and Kathy and Jerry Adach of Schenectady, a couple affected by the pension crisis at St. Clare’s Hospital, for an update on the on-going pension crisis.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen just how important health care workers are to our communities, and the last thing these workers should have to do is fight for the pension they’re rightfully owed,” Santabarbara said. “St. Clare’s pensioners deserve a resolution to this crisis that’s dragged on for far too long. I lent my support to a couple who discussed their concerns with Attorney General Tish James today, who has been a leader on this issue. As we head into a new legislative session, I’ll continue fighting to help the more than 1,100 St. Clare’s retirees receive the benefits they’ve earned through their years of dedicated service.”
More than a thousand St. Clare’s retirees had their pension payments abruptly cut off in 2018, a decade after the hospital in Schenectady had shuttered its doors. The St. Clare’s pension fund did not have benefit guarantee insurance, allowable under federal law by a religious exemption – a 2019 investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office revealed St. Clare’s Corporation trustees voted to buy this insurance but never followed through. Just last week, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court’s Third Department cleared the way for a lawsuit filed by former St. Clare’s employees against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany over the terminated pension payments.
Santabarbara has long advocated for St. Clare’s retirees since the start of the crisis and is hoping for a similar meeting with Governor soon.