Union Elections

2021 Union Candidates:

First Vice:

  • Mark Barrett
  • Steve Palek


  • David Jockers
  • *Nick Callas WITHDRAWN

Sergeant at Arms:

  • Chelief Caldwell
  • Theresa Inman
  • Gary Benoit

Elections will be March 24th and 25th 2021 at the union hall. Ballots can be submitted from 07:30 until the conclusion of the nighttime meetings on both days. If you do not want to come inside, call 216 548 4242 upon arrival and someone will bring a ballot out to your car.



2021 Candidate Information

Steve Palek for 1st Vice (Note Steve Palek was CARE president from 2007 - 2013)


My name is Stephen Palek, I have been with Cleveland EMS since June 2001.  Prior to Cleveland EMS, I worked in Spokane Washington were I was one of three people who joined with the teamsters to ratify our first contract and greatly improved our pay, benefits and working conditions. Shortly after joining Cleveland EMS I became a Paramedic through a joint collaboration with St. Vincent’s.  
In 2005 I was voted in as Sergeant at Arms for CARE local 1975. I have held 3 positions within the CARE executive board before becoming our Union President.  At that time, I worked tirelessly along with our membership to restore 12 hour shifts, shift trades and HDI back to our members. It was a very Dark time, 15 units working on a good day with 12 or less was average with 80 to 90 thousand calls a year. 
I see a pattern that is moving us in a backward direction and not forward as a membership. I see our leadership in both the administration and medical delivery not keeping up with industry standards.  Because I see the past starting to repeat itself, I feel it’s time to run, to ask you for your vote as First Vice President of CARE local 1975.

Stephen G. Palek, 215 


Chelief Caldwell for Sergeant at Arms

Chelief Caldwell, a longtime resident of the City of Cleveland and twenty-four (24) year veteran of Cleveland Emergency Medical Center is running for Sergeant At Arms of C.A.R.E ILA Local 1975. Chelief began her career with the City of Cleveland in the recreation department as a lifeguard in 1995. She transferred to Cleveland Emergency Medical Service and was one of the first civilian dispatchers in RED Center.


Quickly mastering the task of dispatching, Chelief applied for and was accepted as a Dispatch Training Officer where she provided hands on training for new civilian dispatchers.  Never one to be satisfied with the status quo, Chelief decided that knowledge was empowering and enrolled in and successfully passed the Emergency Medical Technician program with Cuyahoga Community College. Soon after, completing the program and passing her National Registry, Chelief applied for and became a Sergeant in the Dispatch Center. Again, realizing that in order to have a true understanding of the field and how they function, Chelief enrolled in and successfully completed the Paramedic program and passed the National Registry while working full-time and raising her two sons.


Chelief has served as the Sergeant At Arms with CARE 1975 for over 3 years. Throughout her tenure as an employee and union member, Chelief has worked with the union tirelessly to effect positive changes within the dispatch center. She has often given up her off days to testify or speak in front of a number of different committees, different councilmen and the media in regards to the working conditions at RED Center. Her moving testimony in front of the Arbitrator for the 2016-2019 contract negations was one of the catalyst that helped to win the dispatchers their 12 hour shifts.


Sergeant Caldwell comes from a family of proud union members, her mother, Angela Caldwell served on the AFSME union for over 25 years effecting change, negotiating contracts and ensuring that members receive fair and equal representation. Chelief spent numerous hours and days at union meetings learning at her knee. If positive leadership, knowledge of the job and a commitment to fighting for everyone’s rights is what your WANT, then vote for Chelief Caldwell as your Sergeant At Arms.


Theresa Inman for Sergeant-at-Arms


My name is Theresa Inman and I am running for Sergeant At Arms of C.A.R.E. local 1975. I started my career with Cleveland EMS in June 2013, prior to EMS I was employed with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department as a Release Clerk, where I remained there for 14 years. While employed with the Sheriff's department, I was appointed union steward with CWA. During my tenure as a union steward, with the support and feedback of other union members, we were able to obtain higher wages and better working conditions for all employees.

When I began my career with Cleveland EMS as an EMD cadet in 2013, I was always eager to develop my understanding of my duties as an EMD. From the beginning of my career, I aspired to move up in the ranks and become a Crew Chief/Sergeant. I worked diligently and became a DTO, which propelled me to be promoted to Sergeant in September of 2018. Knowing the challenges that both Red Center and field personnel face daily to simply improve everyday work conditions, has given me an urge to do more. By not only being an advocate for Red Center, but all union members as a whole.

Being appointed a position in C.A.R.E., I will not only continue to work hard, but remain eager in my pursuit of better working conditions and unity between field and Red Center personnel. I will do my best to keep Red Center personnel informed, engaged, and will work to encourage participation in all union endeavors.

CARE officials serve 2 year terms with no term limits.


During years ending in an EVEN number the following positions are up for election:

  • President
  • 2nd Vice
  • Secretary
  • Director

During years ending in an ODD number the following positions are up for election:

  • 1st vice
  • Treasurer
  • Sergeant at Arms

Nominations are held at the first membership meetings of the year with elections following at the March meetings. Only active members may participate. 

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