Jenna Ortega on SNL (Courtesy of Rosalind O'Connor/NBC)
If ultimately ratified by the crew made up of 12 to 20 workers, the three-year deal will result in pay increases of up to 60% over the life of the contract and deliver immediate pay boosts.
The contract will offer workers healthcare benefits, ratification bonuses, guarantees of employer-paid meals, transportation and hotel accommodations for employees working long shifts with short turnarounds.
Sources close to the negotiations confirmed that a tentative deal has been reached.
This agreement comes after the group, which successfully organized with the Motion Picture Editors Guild, and is a part of IATSE Local 700, voiced aims to negotiate a contract in October. As previously reported, bargaining sessions have since taken place, but sticking points remained, notably around the issue of health benefits, and talks stalled.
Most of their colleagues on the show have long had union contracts. But these workers – who help create the show’s music-video parodies and other popular pre-taped segments – had been unrepresented and paid rates far below industry standards.
“We are thrilled to have reached this tentative deal,” said Cathy Repola, National Executive Director of Motion Picture Editors Guild. “Thanks to the tremendous resolve of the crew, we reached a deal that represents real achievement in each of the areas our members identified as key, including dramatic improvements in wages. We’ll defer detailed public discussion of the terms until after our negotiators have had a chance to meet with the full crew to review the deal and hold a ratification vote.”
“SNL” had never been targeted with a show-specific strike in its nearly 50-year history.
The Guild represents approximately 9,000 post-production professionals nationally, working in both live-action and animated motion pictures. It is Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE), the largest union of behind-the-scenes entertainment workers.
Variety's Jazz Tangcay contributed to this post.