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PSEG ends contract with IBM, idling more than a dozen workers

PSEG Long Island has ended a contract for computer services with IBM, a move that will impact more than a dozen workers by August.

The workers currently write software and service a mainframe computer in Garden City that handles many aspects of LIPA's customer systems, including billing. Many were employed by National Grid and its predecessor companies before they transferred to IBM under contract about five years ago. The workers received notices on May 19 saying they will be terminated Aug. 19, according to PSEG.

PSEG has contracted with India-based Tata Consulting Services, also known as TCS, to take over the work.

PSEG said savings are expected to be about $2 million a year.

Agency officials were not available to discuss the terminations. But spokesman Jeff Weir said in a written statement that "we periodically review certain contracts for outside services" to provide the "best value for customers. We recently changed vendors and moved our application-support business from IBM to TCS."

PSEG said it will work with TCS to "reduce the impact of the transition by minimizing the number of positions not based locally."

Weir declined to elaborate on the number of workers impacted or say how many could be employed by TCS. But PSEG said TCS "has committed to having a local presence and to evaluating the incumbent staff."

LIPA declined to comment, and spokesmen for IBM and TCS didn't respond to requests for comment.

A person who formerly worked with the division said the number of employees impacted includes more than a dozen programmers, in addition to an unspecified number of employees who service the mainframe computer.

TCS said that after the transition "there will be more TCS staff on Long Island, as compared to the number not based locally under the prior IBM contract."

The company said the Garden City office will be maintained, and PSEG said LIPA customer information would not be less secure under TCS.

"We are not moving any data around the world and resources will access our systems through a controlled environment," Weir said.


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