CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Study shows decrease in seniors taking potentially harmful drugs between 2000 and 2006

New CIHI analysis shows that more than a quarter of seniors continue using these drugs
The proportion of seniors taking potentially harmful drugs decreased over the last six years, from more than one in three seniors (34%) on prescribed medication in 2000–2001 to just over one in four seniors (27%) in 2005–2006. A new study released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Drug Claims by Seniors: An Analysis Focusing on Potentially Inappropriate Use of Medications, 2000 to 2006, examines public drug program claims in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick. The study focuses on medications on the Beers list—an internationally recognized list of medications identified as “potentially inappropriate” for seniors because of an elevated risk of adverse effects. First developed in 1991 by U.S. gerontologist Dr. Mark H. Beers, the list was developed using criteria such as appropriate use of medication, effectiveness, risk of adverse events and the availability of safer alternatives.

“Prescription drug therapy is a very important component of health care delivery for the elderly in this country. As the Canadian population ages, a better understanding of any potentially inappropriate use of these drugs is essential,” says Francine Anne Roy, Director of Health Resources Information at CIHI.
Top five Beers list drugs claimed are similar across the four provincial drug programs
The study noted a decline in the chronic use of drugs from the Beers list in all four provinces. Chronic use of medications on the Beers list is described as a minimum of three prescriptions and 100 solid dosage units in a given year. In 2000–2001, chronic use ranged from 19.5% of seniors with drug claims in Manitoba to 27.5% in New Brunswick. This range was from 12.9% in Alberta to 18.8% in New Brunswick in 2005–2006.*

“Our analysis shows a decline in the overall use of drugs on the Beers list. This is not surprising considering increased awareness around the safety and benefits of some of these medications, including oral conjugated estrogens, used for hormone replacement therapy,” says Michael Hunt, Manager of Pharmaceuticals at CIHI. “On the other hand, the use of other drugs on the list appears to be increasing. The chronic use of amitriptyline, an antidepressant that carries high potential health risks, has increased over five years, making it the fastest-growing drug on the Beers list in terms of usage in all four provinces.”

In 2005–2006, the top five Beers list drugs most prescribed and claimed, by number of chronic users, were similar between the four provincial drug programs. Overall, the top five were:
Oral conjugated estrogens—hormone replacement
Amitriptyline—an antidepressant
Digoxin—a treatment for heart conditions
Oxybutynin—a treatment for incontinence
Temazepam—a treatment for sleep disorders
A sub-category of Beers drugs labelled “high risk,” identified originally by Dr. Beers and subsequently by a United States consensus panel of experts in their 2003 update of the Beers list, are of particular concern due to the potential for “adverse outcomes of high severity.” Between 2000–2001 and 2005–2006, chronic use of Beers drugs considered to be high risk decreased in all four provinces. In 2005–2006, the use varied from 8.2% of seniors with drug claims in Alberta to 12.0% in New Brunswick. Among the number of potential effects on seniors using these medications are unwanted changes in blood pressure, confusion, sedation and dizziness.

The chronic use of more than one Beers drug occurred, on average, in less than 2% of all seniors using medications in the four provinces. CIHI’s analysis found chronic Beers list medication use increased with age and was highest among women and seniors aged 85 and older.
The proportion of seniors who had drug claims accepted by the public drug programs in the four provinces varied from 59% in New Brunswick to more than 90% in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
About CIHI
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) collects and analyzes information on health and health care in Canada and makes it publicly available. Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments created CIHI as a not-for-profit, independent organization dedicated to forging a common approach to Canadian health information.
CIHI’s goal: to provide timely, accurate and comparable information. CIHI’s data and reports inform health policies, support the effective delivery of health services and raise awareness among Canadians of the factors that contribute to good health.

Breaking Barriers: Building a Culture of Assessment

The NC State University Office of Assessment is seeking proposals for
concurrent session presentations for the 2008 NC State Undergraduate
Assessment Symposium. The deadline for submission is 5:00pm, November
12, 2007. Our theme this year is building a culture of assessment
through breaking barriers. Dr. Barbara Walvoord, Chair of Assessment
Committee, Fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, and
Concurrent Professor of English, University of Notre Dame will be our
keynote speaker. Dr. Amy Driscoll, Associate Senior Scholar, the
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Dr. Jeffrey
Seybert, Director of Research, Evaluation and Instructional Development,
Johnson County Community will be our plenary speakers. In addition we
will have invited Saturday workshops presenters, invited policy
representatives for our Saturday panel discussion and free consultation
services for attendees. We invite you to share your knowledge and
experiences with higher education professionals of various experience
levels from across the nation. Each concurrent session will be 60
minutes long and should be highly interactive, providing opportunities
for audience participation.

Tracks featured include: Academic Disciplines, General Education,
Institutional Effectiveness, Community Colleges, Academic Support
Services, Student Development/Student Affairs, Experiential Education,
and Campus Partnerships. For more details, please go to:

To submit a proposal, please fill out the Word proposal form at
and send
it to Dr. Pamela Steinke, Assistant Director of Assessment, at , or to
Andjie Barton, Symposium Coordinator, at

Deadline for submission is 5:00pm, November 12, 2007.

For more information about the Symposium, please visit our website at:

Canadian Campus Privitzation Survey 2007

We want to broaden our understanding of the growing tide of commercialism on our university campuses so the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Polaris Institute, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canadian Federation of Students and Sustainable Campuses have developed a short survey we hope you will complete. Results from the survey will be released to the public early in 2008 and the information obtained through the survey results will be available for use by all sponsoring organizations, student groups and allies in your research or campaign work.

This is the first survey of its kind in the post-secondary sector, and to ensure its accurate representation of the level of commercialism on Canadian campuses we need your cooperation--and thank you in advance for your participation.

Go here now to complete:
English language survey
en francais

Please note:

All surveys, even partially completed ones, contain important information, even though there may be some questions you are unable to respond to.

It is vitally important that you fill out the name of your institution and the organization to which you respond so that all results can be accurately
synthesized and analyzed.

We ask that you complete this survey NO LATER THAN October 1, 2007.

Thank you for your time.

CUPE members please direct any questions to Margot Young