Linda White

Bridgewater, NJ

Hi, my name is Linda and I worked in the finance department of the Hospital Center at Orange for 20 years before leaving in 2000 due in part to the Hospital's afiliation with Cathedral Healthcare System. I graduated college in 1980 and this was my first job as an accounting professional. It was a great place to work and I learned alot there, developed my skills, met some great people and felt like I made a contribution. After the merger with Cathedral everything changed. Those of us who had worked there a long time felt like we didn't matter any more. Other people were in charge and they didn't have our best interests at heart. Working in the finance area I was always aware of the tough financial position the hospital was in but one thing we always made sure of was that our premiums to the PBGC were paid and the pension plan for our employees was funded. At the time I left in 2000 I can say that our premiums were paid and the plan was funded even though it was at times a struggle. It was very distressing to later learn that our plan had been converted to a "Church Plan" without the employees knowing about it and that all funding as well as our coverage by the PBGC had been terminated.When a person accepts a job offer they consider many things. The salary is important but other things such as the benefits and working conditions are also a major consideration. I know for myself and many others the knowledge that we had a pension coming to us as a reward for our many years of work was one of the reasons we stayed for so long even though we could have earned more elsewhere. While the pension I would have received from the Hopsital Center at Orange would not have sustained me completely in my retirement it would have had a huge impact. In the years since I have had to be careful to make sure I was saving and contributing as much as possible to my 401K in order to make up that loss. Most likely I will have to work a little longer and delay retirement so that I can hopefully make up that difference.