NH liquor store workers get temporary 10 percent pay hike due to COVID-19

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Essential NH Liquor store employees to get temporary pay raise. Courtesy Photo

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CONCORD, NH – Gov. Chris Sununu issued an emergency order Friday giving retail employees of the state liquor commission a temporary 10 percent raise because of COVID-19.

New Hampshire declared the state-owned liquor stores to be essential businesses, the order said.

“(T)he employees therof may bear a heightened risk of exposure to and community transmission of COVID-19 to a degree not inherent to the performances of other state services,” the order states.

The increase starts on March 13 when Sununu declared a State of Emergency and runs until it expires. It affects retail store clerks, managers and laborers.

The order explained that closing the state liquor stores may have encouraged out-of-state travel. And the state relies of revenue from the liquor stores as well.

Rich Gulla, president of the SEA/SEIU 1984, which represents about 10,000 state employees who have been working without a contract, said the union asked for increased pay for others who work face-to-face with the public such as toll workers, juvenile justice employees and those in child protective services.

Gulla said he hasn’t heard back whether other state employees would get increases.

The content of Emergency Order #20 is below:

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Nancy West


Nancy West is publisher of InDepthNH.org.