CSEA Ad Slams State's Mental Health Changes

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A new advertisement from the Civil Service Employees Association is playing across the state. 

"Oh no, Governor Cuomo's at it again! He's playing musical chairs with psychiatric centers. While some communities win, others lose," the ad says.

It criticizes Governor Cuomo's plan to streamline mental health facilities into Centers of Excellence.

In Ogdensburg, that means shutting down inpatient services at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center and shipping them to Syracuse and Utica. 

"Governor Cuomo's plan is a disservice to all New Yorkers.  We really do believe the proposal will put more sick people out on the streets and have local taxpayers foot the bill for the state's irresponsibility," said CSEA spokesman Stephen Madarasz.

In a statement sent to 7 News from the governor's office, Cuomo said, "CSEA and their special interest allies continue to oppose change and our efforts to improve the lives of less fortunate New Yorkers.  They have repeatedly shown no interest anything other than preserving the status quo."

The other part of the union's concern is jobs.

CSEA officials told us they don't trust the governor's promise that the 520 jobs at the psych center in Ogdensburg are safe. 

"We don't have a lot of trust in this administration. With a consistent lack of details on what this will entail, we just can't take the governor at his word on the idea of no job loss," said Madarasz.

State Senator Patty Ritchie also has concerns about those jobs - especially the inpatient ones at Ogdensburg.

"There's not enough information on the plan. There's not enough detail. It's a pretty quick timetable to have this happen within a year and that is part of the problem," said Ritchie (R. - 48th District).

There will be a state Senate and Assembly joint hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Ogdensburg City Hall to discuss the governor's mental health plan.

See the ad

Saturday, November 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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