When the City (like most) is rapidly going broke, here comes the annual report by the SF Chronicle that the city employees are earning, typically, far more than the taxpayers who have to foot the bill.
Highest paid -- a recently retired deputy police chief, who got $500K+ in his final year. He cashed in a lot of vacation days. Of course, in the normal world (that's the world where pay taxes instead of eat them), companies typically have policies specifically to prevent employees from piling up vacation days sky-high and then nailing the company for big payouts. This lets the company manage its revenues and cash flow sensibly. Not a consideration in city employment, obviously.
Another consideration in private companies: Vacation is supposed to allow employees to rest, relax, recuperate, recharge their batteries. Letting people pile up vacation days year after year unused means they are not doing their health any good -- and thus can't be performing optimally when on the job. So requiring you to use vacation days or lose them forces you to manage your workload to that end -- and also forces your bosses to figure out how to work around your vacation absence, instead of just working you to death.
Of course, city workers (and their unions) just argue that they are oh so overworked and suffering from such shortages -- like the rest of us aren't!
We are played as suckers once again. Fortunately, in recent months journalists, apparently discovering the memo that told them what job they were in, have started digging in and writing about the astonishing abuses of the taxpayer by city officials and city, state, etc. workers and their unions over the years. Now, of course, that it's too late.
Expect that when the first city father finds his backbone and tries to actually *negotiate* the next union contract -- instead of handing over the blank checkbook -- you will see such a storm of protest, strikes, wailing and whining, and the whole charade like you never saw before -- they will try everything to stop any attempt at reform in its tracks.
Expect them to win that battle.