Statement: Eldora Has Become a Downright Dangerous Environment for Employees


For Immediate Release

May 10, 2018

Contact: Mazie Stilwell, Communications Specialist

(515) 246-2637 | [email protected]



DES MOINES – AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in response to the string of assaults against employees at the State Training School at Eldora:

“It is unfortunate that information about the brutal assault on Saturday at the State Training School at Eldora is just now coming to light. After the gutting of collective bargaining, we are no longer able to bargain over health and safety issues in the workplace and management refuses to communicate with us. This incident was kept under wraps for four days just to minimize backlash on the sad state of affairs and the inadequate staffing that have come to define this facility. 

“What we do know is that an employee was assaulted so severely by a resident that he had to be transferred from a local hospital to Iowa City to undergo surgery and have a plate put in his face from a broken nose and orbital bone. This is yet another example of a juvenile inappropriately emboldened through conversations with attorneys at Disability Rights Iowa (DRI) resulting in a downright dangerous environment. A second juvenile assaulted another staff member on Sunday evening resulting in a black eye. 

“At the end of the day, the State of Iowa needs to take responsibility for this pattern of violence that is being allowed to permeate their facility.”


The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees in Iowa including law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, mental health workers, professional school staff, emergency responders, and many other workers. AFSCME Council 61 also represents home health care and child care providers across the state and private sector workers at Prairie Meadows, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Des Moines University, and ABM (Marshalltown).