(WEST SENECA, NEW YORK) - In partnership with Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Local 425 and Public Employees Federation (PEF) Local 167, the Save Our WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) Coalition will present boxes and boxes of donated winter hats and gloves to the GA Family Service Foster Care Program in West Seneca on Tuesday (February 7th), in yet another show of Unions giving back to the communities where they work and raise their families.
PEF Local 167 President Stephanie McLean-Beathley said: “While it has been a mild winter, children ‘still need to be bundled up to prevent’ winter illnesses.’ This is our third year of ‘giving back’ to a community that ‘continues to join in our fight to preserve children’s mental health in West Seneca.’ It has been a ‘long road,’ but the ‘support’ of the community and our State Representatives ‘have provided us with encouragement and momentum.’ Children have ‘unique needs that require unique services’ and ‘need space and support to move forward with the healing process.’ WNYCPC ‘has everything the children need.’ As president of Local 167, we are ‘united’ with the Save Our WNYCPC Coalition, our Western New York elected delegation and our CSEA Brothers and Sisters and the statewide Public Employees Federation to ‘ensure that our children are not locked up and tossed away.’”
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to close the tranquil and serene WNYCPC in West Seneca and transfer the young patients to four floors of the adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center in the City of Buffalo. The coalition is fighting to save WNYCPC, citing the common sense fact that children do not belong in the same facility as adults (For More on This Labor News Story, Read WNYLaborToday.com’s January 19th Report, Headlined: ‘Standing Up For Those Who Do Not Have A Voice,’ PEF President Wayne Spence Calls For Governor Cuomo To Visit The WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center & Commit To Keeping The Facility Open In West Seneca).
CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi said: “Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center opened in 1970 because ‘traumatized, emotionally fragile children with severe psychiatric problems do not belong in an adult facility.’ Children ‘require specialized care and a specialized environment.’ Today, WNYCPC continues to be a ‘state-of-the-art facility’ for treating children and teens. It provides a ‘safe, welcoming, nurturing environment.’ Families are also welcomed and involved in treatment, and family involvement is ‘extremely important.’”
Added CSEA Local 425 President Tom Weston: “WNYCPC has the ‘lowest readmission rate of any psychiatric facility in the state.’ The environment at WNYCPC ‘cannot be duplicated’ at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The plan to move the children to the adult facility is ‘unacceptable.’”
At last report, PEF represents a little more than 100 Workers at WNYCPC, while the CSEA represents another 80 at the West Seneca Facility.
PEF News Editor’s Note: Tuesday’s event will take place at 2 p.m. at GA Family Services, which is located at 40 Gardenville Parkway in West Seneca. If you are interested in obtaining information about becoming a foster parent, call GA Family Services Foster Care Program at 716-668-0490. And for more information on the effort to save WNYCPC, to go: www.saveourwnycpc.org.