Leslie Hurd, Computer Associate Level 3 Local 2627 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera
I started working for the hospital system in 1978 at the central office in Manhattan. It was a good time to get the job. My kids were young, and working at night made it easier for me to help my wife.
I still work for the central office, but I am now at its corporate data center at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx.
They were setting up the computer system at the time I came to work here. We had to teach the staff how to use the computer to input patient information and discharge them. Everything prior to that was done manually.
We take care of the payroll system and we also do W-2 cards. We process and print the paychecks, which are sent downtown to be sorted out. You are talking about close to 30,000 checks!
We have used the same IBM 4000 mainframe for 30 years. It’s obsolete. We are always the last to change.
This is a new culture now. It’s about change. It’s hard to accept. Our job functions will be outsourced. With this different culture, the CEOs who oversee this say, ‘What do you guys do? You do nothing.’
We are down to seven Local 2627 members working on the checks now. The downsizing is done by attrition: When people retire, they are never replaced.
I’m working Tuesday to Saturday from midnight until 8 in the morning. The night work is vital. We do things that people don’t even see. People don’t even realize how they get their checks.
We have to have everything prepared for the day. It’s never been said, ‘Oh guys, you are not going to be paid.” We always process the checks a week ahead of time.
It is a very gratifying job. The fact is people depend on our quality control. But hardly anyone knows what we do because we work at night.
I am going to be retiring in two years. Change is coming. It was inevitable. You have to keep up with the times.
It’s been a great journey.