AFSCME Iowa Council 61 - Every Day. Everywhere. Making Iowa Better.


March 10, 2016

DES MOINES –AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following response to a statement (see this Radio Iowa story) issued by the Governor’s Office yesterday:

“The Branstad-Reynolds Administration is trying to paper over a simple fact: staffing at the Department of Corrections and Community Based Corrections is critically low. Here are the facts:

1) The Governor should be ashamed of himself for trying to turn the safety of employees into a Republican versus Democrat issue in the first sentence of his office’s comments. He’s trying to ignore a life and death issue by attacking my party affiliation instead. Neither I nor anyone involved with the rally ever said anything about political parties in connection with it. The workers at yesterday’s rally have a wide variety of political views. They do not care about the party affiliation of the Governor or I. They care about their safety on the job.

2) The rally yesterday was requested and organized by the workers themselves. Here’s one of the reasons why they are so concerned: The number of payroll warrants issued by the Department of Corrections in the last pay period of FY 15 was 2,609. A year prior, it was 2,713. That’s a decline of 104 staff from FY 14 to FY 15. During the same period of time, the prison population increased from 8,174 to 8,233.

3) Terry Branstad was Governor at the end of FY 98. At that time, the DOC issued 2,736 payroll warrants, which is 127 higher than FY 15. The prison population then was 7,431, which was 802 lower than FY 15. If he felt that was an appropriate staffing level then, why doesn’t he think it should be at least at that level today?

4) Terry Branstad is the Governor now. Lt. Governor Reynolds is the Lt. Governor now. They can try blame others – their predecessors, the workers, our Union. But the fact is the buck stops with them. And the recent fight at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Woman and the escapes from the Correction Release Center at Newton Correctional Facility show that their policies are failing.”


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