Elsewhere online
October 22, 2014

Union Hits Calif. Catholic Hospitals With Pension Suit

A California health workers' union seeking to derail the sale of Daughters of Charity Health System to a for-profit network has sued the Catholic chain, claiming it has drastically underfunded employee pensions, San Francisco Business Times reports. The Service Employees International Union says it is acting to protect retirement benefits for current and former Daughters of Charity employees, but the nonprofit dismissed the suit as "an unfortunate scare tactic" in the labor group's campaign against prospective buyer Prime Healthcare.

Prime has agreed to take on some $300-million in pension liabilities as part of its planned purchase of the six Daughters of Charity hospitals. SEIU's class-action complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, alleges the Catholic system owes hundreds of millions more because  it has long mischaracterized its retirement program as a "church plan," allowing it to evade federal oversight and underfund pensions.