We ask that every time a CEMS member treats a suspected CoVID-19 patient that they take the the time after the call to fill out the On-Duty injury tab on our website.


This applies even if a member does not fill out an exposure packet. By filling out this tab with every encounter, you help us create a written record of all potential encounters.



Collective Bargaining Agreement Dispute


In the interest of transparency, we are posting all our court documents on this page for easy download. Note that these decisions are a matter of public record; we are not sharing any confidential bargaining information:


Arbitration Award.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [264.3 KB]
Common Pleas Decision.PDF
PDF File [158.4 KB]
Appeal to 8th District Court.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [369.3 KB]


We have received official notice that the Frank G. Jackson Administration has decided to file an appeal with the 8th District Court of Appeals and will not be settling the EMS contract at this time.


If we had to describe the current mood of the membership, we would have to use words such as outraged and furious. We have been patient, played by the rules, undergone a mediation and arbitration, and finally seen that arbitration upheld when contested in Common Pleas court. Clearly, this administration, specifically Mayor Jackson, Acting Chief of Staff Dumas, and Commissioner Carlton, does not care about the 266 EMS providers who have continued to provide exemplary prehospital care without interruption throughout this entire 4 year process.


We have been truly touched by the hundreds of family members, concerned citizens, and public safety professionals from across the nation, who have written in and shown up to support us over the past week. We are disappointed that the administration has shown such callous disregard for your thoughts and opinions. This is especially egregious, because while several City Council members have taken the time to send a reply to those who wrote in, to our knowledge, not a single city official has responded to any of the messages that were sent.


Our members deserve to have the city recognize mental health as a form of on-duty injury. Our dispatchers deserve a reasonable shift schedule. Our members deserve the pattern raises that have been awarded to every other bargaining unit and city council years ago. Our residents deserve to have their tax dollars spent in a responsible manner, rather than squandered on endless legal battles. Finally, the voters of Cleveland deserve the improvements to EMS service that they were promised when they approved the Issue 32 tax increase.


To put it simply, we believe our that both our members and anyone who depends on EMS deserves better.


Previous Statements:

On December 13, the honorable Judge Michael Russo struck down the city’s motion to vacate our arbitration award. According to this ruling, CARE members are now owed a contract that includes mental health support, star days, better shifts for EMD's, and the increased wages afforded through pattern bargaining. Since the decision was announced, the city has made no movement to enforce the esteemed Judges ruling. In fact, the city has recently informed our attorney that they plan to appeal the court’s decision. It goes without saying that better wages and working conditions are badly needed in this division. Furthermore, we strongly believe that an appeal may deal a crippling blow to the Division of EMS.

CARE still encourages all those who wish to show support to write local policymakers.

2 E-Mail Campaign. We are encouraging members to e-mail policymakers to make them aware of this situation. see below for info on the e-mail campaign.

CEMS is being poorly managed. Our ambulance fleet is failing, our wages are far from competitive, and the figurehead of this division fails to treat people in an equitable manner. Employees are leaving faster than they can be replaced.
Instead of using the money from issue 32 to improve patient care and invest in its employees, the division has wasted this money on costly legal battles. Taxpayer money is being flushed down the toilet to fight mental health support for first responders. Ironically, the city does not even use their own law department for these matters. Instead, they contract an outside law firm at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars.

So again, we call on everyone to write in and be heard. Stand up for what is right and just. Please contact any member of the board with any questions.
E-Mail Campaign:


The Jackson Administration still refuses to settle the 2016 contract that will provide Mental Health accommodations for EMS providers. It is critical that EMS personnel have access to mental health services and a formal mental health policy.


Please e-mail the policymakers listed below to make them aware of the importance of this issue.


Mayor's Action Center:
Law Director Barbara Langhenry:
Safety Director Michael McGrath:
HR Manager Nycole West:
Finance Director Sharon Dumas:
Chief of Affairs Valarie McCall:


City Council members:


If you are unsure what to say, a sample letter is available below:


To the policymakers of Cleveland,


I am writing today to express outrage that the Jackson Administration still has not settled the 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with CARE Local 1975, the paramedics union. Since March 2016, CARE has negotiated in good faith and within the collective bargaining process to improve the working conditions for its members. During this process, CARE has engaged in a mediation, binding arbitration, and seen the arbitration upheld when challenged in court.

This CBA is critical, because for the first time, it would provide mental health protections to EMS personnel. Due to the nature of their jobs and the traumatic events they witness, EMS providers are 2-3 times more likely to commit suicide than the general public. I am astounded that the City of Cleveland continues to wage an expensive legal battle against mental health protections for those who are there for us in our worst hour.


Please note that wage increases are not a point of contention. The wage increases have already been determined by pattern bargaining with other unions. That said, because the CBA remains in dispute, EMS personnel have not seen the aforementioned wage increases afforded to other city workers. This has greatly affected the ability of the Division of EMS to retain experienced providers, with over 40 employees (13% of divisional staff) resigning from EMS in 2019 alone. In addition, while EMS received approval to hire 30 new paramedics, very few applied and only 5 made it through the cadet academy. A living wage is crucial to recruit new EMTs, paramedics, and dispatchers to the Division of EMS and maintain enough staff to respond to emergencies.


I urge you to reach out to Jackson Administration and encourage them to drop all challenges and settle the CBA with CARE Local 1975 immediately. Our EMS providers deserve nothing less.





Congratulations to Doug Sternik and Mike Stewart on their retirement.  We appreciate your inspiring dedication and service to the community.  You have touched many lives and have earned the respect of many.   Your experience, wisdom, and kindness will be sorely missed.  We wish you the best of luck


E-mail contract ideas to


In order to better address issues within the Cleveland EMS fleet, the Executive board has created a new e-mail specifically for vehicle issues. In the event of ANY vehicle failure or maintenance issue, please take the following steps:
  1. Follow all divisional rules and policies relating to vehicle failure, including notifying the Red Center Captain via telephone.
  2. If it is safe to do so and does not compromise HIPPA, consider taking a single picture of the vehicle issue.
  3. Follow-up the phone call to the Red Center Captain with an e-mail to Sergeant Guzowski, AND cc the new e-mail: Please include the following information:
    1. Vehicle code and assignment (e.g. 15H201 M4)
    2. Date/time of incident
    3. Person reporting name/badge
    4. Name/Badge of Red Center Captain to whom the issue was reported.
    5. Brief description of the problem
    6. Attach ONE single photo (please no videos, they are too large) if it is appropriate and safe to do so.


Please remember that your safety is of utmost importance!  If you do not feel safe, stage and wait for CPD or back out of scene and call for assistance.


Please remember to use the on-duty injury tab if you get injured on the job.  





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