‘SNL’ Postproduction Workers Ratify First Contract, Officially Calling Off Strike Threat

The strike threat on Saturday Night Live has officially passed.

Postproduction workers on the show who are unionized with the Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) have officially ratified their first contract with the NBC live comedy show, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The bargaining unit of 12-20 staffers (the number of those working on the show fluctuates per episode) unanimously supported the tentative agreement in the vote on Wednesday night. Deadline was the first to report the news.

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The unit had previously threatened to strike if the parties hadn’t reached a deal by April 1. However, in mid-March both sides reached a tentative agreement that would boost workers’ pay and keep them covered by a healthcare plan. Workers signaled their support for that pact on Wednesday.

“The solidarity and bravery of this crew are just so impressive,” MPEG’s national executive director Cathy Repola said in a statement. “They fought not just to improve their own working lives; they have also set a standard that will benefit all those who follow in their footsteps at this TV comedy institution. It was an honor to work with them on reaching this significant agreement.”

The new agreement is set to offer postproduction workers immediate raises ranging from 7.5 to 33.5 percent increases compared to their previous pay rates. During the three-year contract, workers’ pay raises will eventually increase up to 60 percent, the union stated on Thursday. All crew members will receive healthcare coverage as a result of the deal and they will be able to receive employer-paid meals, hotel stays and transportation if they work especially late hours. The deal also included “a joint commitment” to improve diversity, equity and inclusion among these workers, but details on that provision were not immediately available.

The postproduction workers, who work on the pre-taped segments of the show, first unionized with MPEG, a local of IATSE, in October 2022 after management voluntarily recognized the group. “This talented editorial crew works at breakneck speed under extraordinarily tight schedules in order to ensure Saturday Night Live‘s timely satire makes it to the screen each week,” Editors Guild second vice president Louis Bertini said in a statement at the time. “We salute them for standing together to have a voice on the job.”

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