Supervisors haven’t earned raise

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 4, 2016

I work at the formerly owned Natchez Regional Medical Center. I started to work there in 1991 when making contributions to the PERS state retirement was a requirement, not a choice. After looking into the PERS retirement, I didn’t mind having it taken out of my check because the employer matched the contribution at a higher rate, and I knew in the long run, I would be glad I was a member. I had a couple of chances to leave the county-owned hospital for higher hourly rates, but stayed because of the PERS retirement system. After watching our county supervisors stand by while the hospital went into bankruptcy twice and my 23.5 years in PERS come to an end, I was lost on what my next move should be.

Bear in mind, with state retirement, you’re eligible to retire and draw a monthly check at 25 years regardless of age. For a year, I searched for another job at only four hospitals left in the state with PERS retirement, hoping to finish out my time. As I watched the bankruptcy unfold over the next two years and learned more and more about how the hospital had not paid their part of our retirement or insurance premiums, I gave up and decided to roll my PERS over and invest it. I might regret that one day, but I still have money tied up in PERS that I can’t get because the county-owned hospital never paid their part. That money has been sitting there close to three years now making no interest.

The county supervisors sent Bill 2865 to the house that was passed and signed by the governor the first week in May. The bill allows the county to pick up the tab for the county-owned hospital and pay the PERS employer contribution owed to the former employee’s. PERS will not release that money or add time worked to any of those accounts until this is paid. The bill was a fair gesture and the least that the county supervisors should do after what took place under their watch. I haven’t heard or read anything else about Bill 2865 since it was signed by the governor.

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Should the county supervisors vote themselves a raise? I don’t think they’ve earned it.


Rod C. Lindsey

Natchez resident