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

IT Layoffs at Iowa Veterans Home Post Risk to Resident Safety

DES MOINES – AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement regarding the layoff of nine IT employees at the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH):

“This week, nine IT employees at the Iowa Veterans Home were given layoff notices. The IT department, which has, until now, operated with eleven staff, is now left with two. As one fellow employee put it, ‘The IT department is the glue that holds this facility together.’

“We are devastated, both for the residents of IVH, and for the families now grieving job loss. The dedication of these employees was remarkable, with one of those laid off having been hired in 1981 and another in 1984. There was always an IT employee on-call, which made a world of a difference to those providing care around the clock.

“Residents receive excellent care with the help of a fully-computerized facility. With that, everything from staffing software to safety equipment, like WanderGuard – a patient elopement prevention system – are controlled and monitored by an excellent team of highly-skilled IT employees. Now, we’re not sure where that oversight will take place. It raises concerns, though, if time-sensitive fixes are now relying on travel from Des Moines to Marshalltown.

“Ultimately, the veterans living at IVH deserve the highest level of care and best facility possible. We believe this massive layoff will have a significant impact on the responsiveness and efficiency of that care. For the sake of those who have been laid off and the residents who have benefitted from their time and talents, we hope this staffing decision will be reconsidered.”

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