Saturday Night Live‘s current season is in jeopardy, as the show’s post-production editors have set a deadline to strike. Despite losing some high-profile cast members, Saturday Night Live season 48 is enjoying some of the sketch comedy’s best reviews in some time. That’s due in part to some popular hosts that have added their own spin to SNL‘s familiar rhythms, including Keke Palmer, Aubrey Plaza, and Pedro Pascal.
Before Wednesday star Jenna Ortega takes the stage along with musical guests The 1975. Variety reports that the post-production editors behind SNL are prepared to strike and have set a deadline of April 1st. If an agreement with producer NBCUniversal is not reached, 12 to 20 editing crew members have announced that they plan to stop work and strike as part of their bid if the bargaining sessions over pay inequities and health benefits do not yield results.
Why Are SNL’s Editors Ready To Go On Strike?
The deadline for the SNL strikes is happening after the editors aimed to negotiate a contract in October. Even though negotiation sessions have taken place, a few sticking points remain — namely around health benefits and pay. The group is also seeking a contract that would guarantee SNL’s post-production editors fair pay. According to Variety, workers on the editing team are paid far below industry standards.
One example states that SNL‘s assistant editors reportedly receive hourly wages that represent “only a fraction of the industry-standard minimum rate for assistant editors on union shows.” The wage proposals offered so far reportedly don’t address that gap in a meaningful way. Another issue is that NBCUniversal’s offer of annual increases is less than annual raises in industry-wide agreements. Retroactive pay is also something that has been refused.
In terms of health coverage for editors, NBCUniversal has been pushing for a two-tiered health insurance system that may lead to reduced benefits for future editors. Sources say that NBC is pushing hard to avoid a strike and reach an agreement. In the history of Saturday Night Live, the sketch comedy series has never specifically been the focus of a strike until now.
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