The Sanitation Department at the Belize City Council were equipped with brand new uniforms that will allow them to carry out their duties safely and professionally. Today the Mayor of Belize City, Bernard Wagner, announced that the long-awaited sanitation jumpsuits were completed. He also announced the renaming of the department from Sanitation to Operational Support. He says that the term Sanitation often gives off a bad connotation.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “Today’s launch of these new apparel has been in planning. We knew that we had to protect our front line workers not only from the natural elements but also we needed to protect them from day to day stigmatization and the negative connotation that comes with sanitation department. Many times I was on the street and some of our workers would feel with the name sanitation on the back of their shirts or their apparel they always used to talk to me sometimes and tell me if sometimes they feel ashamed of the name sanitation and you are right, they are right the name sanitation gives off that negative connotation and we wanted to change the mindset we wanted to change cultures and that is why today we have the new name “Operational Support Team”. These new outfits like Ms.Rudon said will be distributed to the operational support, Cemetery department, our market staff, our parks and playground staff and our work staff all of them will be receiving these apparel. We feel that this new line of heavy duty clothing will better equip our workers to handle the different risk elements they face everyday on the job.”
According to some of the workers within the department prior to them acquiring their jumpsuits they felt exposed and unprotected.
Shelmadine Lynch, Operational Support: “I am very happy about this outfit, it’s very good because I can keep my clothes put it up because you have tow outfits to wear everyday looking nice. Thanks to the Mayor for fixing us up to look good. The uniform after this COVID thing will be better because we will be more covered up completely. First we weren’t quite covered up everything but now we have everything covered up so the COVID thing is okay. As far as the COVID-19 is concern there’s a need to get back to my work because I love my work and I’m at home for quite some time, I’m at home from the twenty third of March and it’s every two weeks we’ve been coming and I really want to get back to do my work because gosh I’m dying at home.”
Robert Pott, Operational Support: “I would like to thank the Mayor for looking after the employees and helping us work in a more comfortable environment and do our job to our best. So we say once again thanks to the Mayor and the council. We have the uniform here, we come in our casual clothes when we get here and we have work to do then we just change off.”
There are an approximate 200 workers within the Sanitation Department at the Belize City Council.