Residential care work is extremely difficult and can be dangerous, especially if the organisation does not support workers adequately or appropriately resource us to keep us safe.

My name is Alice Butcher, I have been a delegate at the ASU for two years now. I work at Uniting as a residential care worker and have worked at Uniting for four years. I have been working in residential care for six years and have been volunteering in the sector since I was a teenager.

I love working in this sector because it’s ever-changing and I learn new things every day, there are always good outcomes from the young people even if it’s a small win. I have lots of little experiences where I get to look back and feel as though I have helped to make a difference in a young person’s life.

I joined the ASU because you never know what’s going to happen at work, you’re never guaranteed to be safe working in residential care and it’s always good to have someone behind you batting for you. I became a delegate because I saw many frustrating issues pop up with my employer, and I wanted to speak up and stand up both for myself and for my coworkers. The union gave me the power to do that.

Our sector and work with clients will improve when employers respond to the feedback that union members and staff raise, realizing that we are the boots on the ground keeping residential care going. I realise that the way we as workers can make our employer listen to us is by joining our union and working together as union members.

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