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Got the Monday blues? Start your week off right with a helping of useful information and informed opinion. 

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For the Week of November 22, 2010

There was big news as hundreds of students from all over the state were joined by staff at a Wednesday protest at UCSF Mission Bay, as the UC Board of Regents considered an 8% increase in fees and began considering pensions. The tuition increase of $822 brings the annual fee to $11,124 for undergraduates. Thirteen people were arrested. Here’s a student video of the protest.

But less visible was the news that the regents approved some big salary increases for executives along with the tuition hikes. One Davis exec will make $370,000 plus a combined hiring bonus/relocation allowance of $111,000, in addition to other perks. Total cash compensation: $481,000. The prior employee in this position made a mere $237,400. Another exec, at Irvine, will receive $300,000, a 9.2% hike over the salary of the previous employee.

Meanwhile, one of the regents is justifying the high pay of UC executives, saying the exorbitant salaries are needed to get “talent.” (Here’s the entire interview.)

Thursday’s protest was quieter as the regents decided to raise tuition and hike tuition for professional schools. Several regents and state policymakers, including Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, opposed the increase. Assemblymember Paul Fong, of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, called the tuition increase a "gratuitously provocative gesture" and asked the regents to “postpone the measure until alternatives had been explored.”

 A decision on pensions will be made at the next meeting. President Yudof is quoted as saying, “A lot of what you're seeing today is driven by the need to reform our pension plan, which is 20-some billion dollars in unfunded liability going way out.”

More news on KPFA, Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, whose staff is represented by UPTE’s parent union, the Communications Workers of America. The station has hired a union-busting legal firm, while nearly a thousand listeners have signed a petition in support of laid off staff.

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