Just got off the phone with a payroll person at one of the larger studios.
The payroll person wanted to know what TAG's stance on "unauthorized overtime" is. I told him that we follow the contract, and I work to keep uncompensated o.t. tamped down, but when people take work home and complete it for free (i.e., not charging overtime), there's little that the Animation Guild can do about it. "I don't go to people's houses and check up on them." ...
But I made sure he understood that:
1) We don't approve or condone people under our jurisdiction doing uncompensated overtime.
2) We let folks know that they shouldn't do uncompensated overtime. (Like, that's why I'm writing this post.)
3) We file grievances against uncompensated overtime (when we can get artists to come to an arbitration to provide supporting evidence.)
4) If studios accept work done during uncompensated overtime, then they are obligated to pay for the work (like, pay the o.t.)
5) Uncompensated overtime has been an issue as long as I've done this job. Every studio, at one time or another, allows it to happen.
And is there a solution?
Well, yeah. The day that employees collectively agree that they're not going to ignore the collective bargaining agreement and knuckle under to studio and peer pressure to "hit the deadline" and do extra work for free, is the day that the problem disappears. Because the studios will, at last, have an accurate idea of how much work their employees can actually do in a forty-hour workweek, and will budget and pay accordingly.
I don't think that reality will arrive soon, but hey. I'm ever hopeful.