About 150 City of Miami employees are in the process of changing over to a new uniform this week.
“In the past, with all the different departments, we've had about six or seven different uniforms all at the same time,” said Tim Wilson, the city's superintendent of the public works department. “What uniform an employee wore depended on what department they worked in. Now, every one will have the same uniform.”
The uniforms feature bright reflective yellow stripes on a dark blue shirt. Some city workers will also be issued khaki slacks, while others will continue to wear jeans. Other uniform items include jackets and coveralls. In hot weather, some city workers will be permitted to wear lime-green T-shirts while they work outdoors.
“What we're wearing is so bright, if someone hits us, they just weren't looking,” said Joe Waldon, a city street department employee who was working in front of the Coleman Theatre on Monday.
Not all city employees will wear the new uniforms. Uniforms worn by police officers and fire fighters are decided during negotiations as part of labor contracts. Court personnel, some administrators and the assistants and clerical employees who work for them must adhere to a dress code, but do not wear uniforms. Public utility workers, engineering departmentT inspectors, street workers and parks department employees will be required to wear the uniforms.
City workers who are required to wear a uniform will continue to receive the shirts over the next few days. The city supplies employees with a set of uniforms and previously used four different suppliers. Consolidating to one supplier and eliminating the need for reflective vests will save the city approximately $6,000 annually, according to Michael Spurgeon, city manager.
“There is the savings to the city and the safety of the workers,” Spurgeon said. “Then there is also security. All city employees have city identification and now most of them will have the same uniform so citizens will be able to know if someone claiming to work for the city does in fact work for the city.”