(TMZ) The "Jersey Shore" cast has put the screws to MTV for a FIFTH TIME -- negotiating new contracts for an upcoming season back in New Jersey ... and we're told, they locked down their biggest salaries yet.
Plans are already in motion for a fifth season back in Seaside Heights -- but sources connected with the "Jersey" cast tell TMZ, Pauly D and the gang refused to take part without signing new contracts first.
We're told MTV originally planned to shoot the new season under the terms of the Season 4 contracts -- but lawyers for the cast refused ... so MTV drew up new papers. We're told the majority of the cast has already re-signed for a bump in salary -- not a HUGE raise, but still significant -- and the rest will sign this week.
The cast is scheduled to fly back from Italy on the 23rd -- and start shooting the new season in Jersey on the 26th. 495 Productions has not returned calls, and MTV had no comment. more on this story