Arbitrator says North Bay nurse fired for speaking out about violence should get her job back

An Ontario arbitrator has ruled that a North Bay Regional Health Centre nurse should get her job back, with pay.

The nurse was fired two years ago for speaking publicly about workplace violence

North Bay nurse Sue McIntyre was ordered back to work by arbitrator with full compensation. (nomj.ca)

An Ontario arbitrator has ruled that a North Bay Regional Health Centre nurse should get her job back, with pay.

CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions sent out a news release on Wednesday.

The union says the nurse was dismissed from her job at the North Bay Regional Health Centre in February 2016 after she was quoted in a news release issued by her union. Her comments about workplace violence were made at a nursing conference in Kingston.

In the statement from the union, arbitrator Bram Herlich says Sue McIntyre had "no plan or intention to initiate a media campaign to sully the hospital's reputation" and she should be "reinstated to her employment without loss of benefits or seniority and with full compensation."

Herlich found that there is "broad acceptance that workplace violence is prevalent in the hospital sector" and the comments made by nurses in an OCHU media release at the time mirror concerns expressed in Ontario Hospital Association documents and the New England Journal of Medicine.

The decision comes more than two years after the North Bay regional hospital dismissed McIntyre.

The President and CEO of the North Bay Regional Health Centre, Paul Heinrick responded with an emailed statement.

"As the decision set forth in the Sue McIntyre arbitration was received last evening, the North Bay Regional Health Centre is carefully analyzing the ruling with our legal and human resource teams to determine opportunities and next steps."