Members of the “Saturday Night Live” post-production team unanimously ratified their first contract with NBC this week, avoiding a potential strike.
The new contract, effective through 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 to help them cope with demanding and non-traditional program working hours. a source close to the negotiations told The Times. The individual asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to discuss the details of the agreement.
“We are proud of this team and their determination,” said Cathy Repola, executive director of the Motion Picture Editors Guild. “They remind us what the labor movement is all about: people standing up for their value and standing shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues to insist on it. They deserve everything they got.”
The team of about two dozen had won recognition as an Editors Guild IATSE Local 700 union in October and began negotiations with NBC in December. However, in mid-January, after the union submitted its wage proposal, contract negotiations began to stall. Later that month, the crew authorized a strike and, in March, it set an April 1 deadline for the company to reach an agreement.
During the contract campaign, other members of the “SNL” team, 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, several members of the cast, including Colin Jost, James Austin Johnson, Andrew Dismukes, Sarah Sherman, and Bowen Yang, wore the shirts on air during the scene call.
With the team set to leave the show, NBC reached out a tentative deal on March 17, just over a week after the deadline was set.
Before Wednesday’s vote, the post-production team of editors was atypical on “SNL.” Most of those on the show—writers and directors, cast members, stagehands, cameramen—are union members and veterans of the collective bargaining process.
“This victory has been a long time coming, and we’re excited to join the ranks of all of our union colleagues who make ‘SNL’ possible every week,” said Ryan Spears, team editor. “And it was an honor to receive such an outpouring of support from the cast, writers, and crew throughout this process. Everyone on the team is excited about what we were able to achieve together.”
Pay raises for the crew will begin when the show resumes production on its April 1 episode, which features “Abbott Elementary” host Quinta Brunson and musical guest Lil Yachty. The show is currently on a scheduled two-week break.
Crew members will see increases ranging from 7.5% to 33.5%, the source close to the negotiations said. Some crew members who worked in February will also receive an endorsement bonus of either $250 or $500, depending on the number of days worked, the source said. Some crew members could see an overall pay increase of up to 60.5% at the end of the contract term.
Health care benefits will also be extended to all crew members. The contract also made official other benefits NBC had long provided its crew, such as meals, hotel stays and car service to transport workers to and from their homes.
Such benefits help alleviate hectic work schedules that include tight deadlines on parody editing, which are often shot on Fridays, and post-production work sometimes finishes just minutes before the Saturday night broadcast. .
New benefits include bereavement leave. In addition, the company and the union made a joint commitment to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the crew.