Queens Community House Joins Rally of 1,500 New Yorkers to Ask Mayor for Fair Pay for Nonprofit Workers

NEW YORK (March 2022) – On March 10, 120 nonprofit workers from Queens Community House (QCH), one of the borough’s largest social service organizations, joined the Just Pay rally to call for the NYC Mayor and City Council to end government-sanctioned poverty wages for human service workers. Over 1,500 nonprofit workers, elected officials, and supporters gathered at City Hall for the campaign on Thursday. 

The Just Pay Campaign aims to implement changes around inequitable pay among nonprofit workers with emphasis on the following: establish, fund, and enforce an automatic annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on all human services contracts; set a living wage floor of no less than $21 an hour for all City and State funded human services workers; and create, fund, and incorporate a comprehensive wage and benefit schedule for government contracted human services workers comparable to the salaries made by City and State employees in the same field. 

QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases has been an advocate for fair pay for human services staff for many years. “Queens Community House is about 90% funded through government sources, so we cannot make broad, sustainable progress on staff compensation without the support of our government funders,” said Thomases.  

The nonprofit sector has frequently engaged in advocacy on this issue, but many nonprofit workers believe this campaign represents a new level of effort and commitment.  

“In all my years being in the nonprofit sector, I’ve never seen this issue on compensation get this much momentum,” said Patrick Pinchinat, QCH Director of the Pomonok Community Center. “It’s great seeing nonprofits from every corner come together to fight for fair wages.”  

“The families we serve were at the COVID-19 pandemic’s epicenter, so QCH responded by implementing a coordinated assessment and referral system, expanding our homebound meal service and food pantries, and increasing our internal capacity to respond to a variety of emergency needs,” said Thomases. “Human services workers served on the frontlines of COVID-19 and deserve fair pay.” 

NYC Councilmember Tiffany Cabán also spoke in support of the Just Pay campaign at the rally. “Human services are the core of the care economy we need to invest in, to make New York the safest, healthiest city possible,” Cabán said. “Workers in this sector perform the heroic feats that keep our city running. They deserve just pay, simple and plain.” 


Queens Community House (QCH) is a multi-service settlement house committed to serving the diverse neighborhoods of Queens. QCH serves more than 25,000 children, youth, adults, and older adults every year. Our mission is to provide individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities. Through a broad network of programs operating out of 34 sites in 14 neighborhoods, we offer Queens residents a needed support system at every stage of life, helping them to develop the knowledge, confidence, and skills to change their lives for the better and become active participants in their larger community. 



Thomas Cruz  

Director of Communications  

Queens Community House  


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