from Bloomberg, a useful list:

  1. Giving out raises faster than revenues are growing.
  2. Giving out raises and increasing benefits when revenues are falling.
  3. Giving out raises and benefits retroactively.
  4. Allowing employees to cash out unlimited amounts of sick leave when they retire.
  5. Providing lifetime health care for retirees.

In San Jose, these mistakes have resulted in a sharp drop in number of public employees per 1000 residents:

(click on chart to enlarge)