The Mercury News
`SNL' crew ratifies first-ever contract
Members of the “Saturday Night Live” postproduction crew unanimously ratified their first-ever contract agreement with NBC this week, averting a possible strike.
The new contract, in effect until the summer of 2026, will give employees who work as editors on the NBC sketch-comedy series immediate pay increases and health care benefits, as well as resources that help in coping with the show's demanding and nontraditional work hours, a source close to negotiations told the Los Angeles Times.
The individual asked to remain anonymous because they weren't authorized to speak about details of the agreement.
“We're proud of this crew and their resolve,” said Cathy Repola, executive director of the Motion Picture Editors Guild. “They remind us of what the labor movement is all about — folks standing up for their worth and standing shoulder to shoulder with colleagues to insist on it. They deserve everything they won.”
NBC did not immediately respond to the Times' request for comment.
The crew of about two dozen had won recognition as a union of Editors Guild IATSE Local 700 in October and began to negotiate with NBC in December. However, by mid-January, after the union introduced its wage proposal, contract negotiations began to stall. Later that month, the crew authorized a strike and, in March, set a deadline of April 1 for the company to come to an agreement.
During the contract campaign, other “SNL” crew members as well as cast members supported the effort by wearing “Contract Now” T-shirts to work, the source said. At the end of a February episode hosted by Pedro Pascal, multiple cast members wore the tees on air during the curtain call.
With the crew willing to walk off the show, NBC reached a tentative agreement on March 17.
Before Wednesday's vote, the postproduction crew of editors were outliers on “SNL.” Most of those on the show — writers and directors, cast members, stagehands, camera crew — are union members and veterans of the collective bargaining process.