It was a case of a staff nurse at North Bay's hospital speaking out at a union conference about her concerns regarding violence in the healthcare workplace.

A union newsletter is what led to the firing of Sue McIntyre, as she was quoted for speaking up about violence in the workplace and now an arbitrator has ruled it never should have happened.

The dismissal caused uproar among CUPE members across the province, which rallied in defense of McIntyre.

In light of the arbitration outcome, union leaders say the ruling is significant in raising awareness about violence in the workplace.

"It’s what's really needed to give people confidence to speak out, is support by the government for a legislative change that would make it clear that healthcare workers have the right to speak up and do so without the fear of reprisal." said Michael Hurley of Ontario Council of Hospital Unions.

Hospital CEO, Paul Heinrich, was not available for an interview, but did release a statement regarding the ruling:

"The North Bay Regional Health Centre is carefully analyzing the ruling with our legal and human resource teams to determine opportunities and next steps."

However, Hurley says the hospital has no choice but to reinstate McIntyre, adding the local union has already approached hospital management.

"She is to be reinstated immediately with full compensation, benefits and seniority, and the local union is now working out the details as to when that will be happening. The decision of the arbitration board is final and binding on the hospital, so there is no question, Sue will be returning to work." said Hurley.

CUPE officials claim the union spent more than half-a-million dollars in McIntyre's defense. It is unknown just how much the hospital spent on this arbitration case.


A North Bay nurse, who was fired over two years ago for speaking out about workplace violence, could be getting her job back after an arbitrator ruled in her favour Wednesday.

Sue McIntyre was fired from her position at the North Bay Regional Health Centre after speaking out at a nursing conference about workplace violence.  She was later quoted in a union media release.

The arbitrator says McIntyre should be reinstated without loss of benefits or seniority, with full compensation.