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New Ai Group SA Branch gets stuck in to business

The Ai Group South Australia Branch Council had its first monthly council meeting this week, which represents the first since the merger between Ai Group and the Engineering Employers Association South Australia (EEASA) on 1st July 2009.

Ai Group South Australia Branch president, Andrews Downs, and councillors discussed a number of issues for SA industry including emissions trading, OHS harmonisation, workers compensation premiums and the new Fair Work Act, the Group said.

Ai Group SA director, Stephen Myatt, said: “Ai Group councillors and members are very keen to understand their obligations under the new Fair Work Australia Act. There is still a lot to learn and Ai Group will be rolling out a new series of briefings for companies on the implications for business of the Fair Work Act and the operation of the National Employment Standards and Modern Awards which come into effect from 1st January next year”.

Councillors were advised of the progress in the Award Modernisation process. Ai Group has been the principal organisation representing the interests of business in the process.

Ai Group Chief Executive Heather Ridout welcomed the new councillors to Ai Group who were appointed following the organisations annual elections. She also commented on the current economic climate for businesses in South Australia.

“As with the rest of the country, businesses in South Australia are focused on negotiating the current downturn while trying to hold on to skilled staff. This could be seen in the recent unemployment data where companies are ‘hoarding’ staff to maintain their skill base in the hope of a not too distant upturn,” she said.

“Businesses will be looking to unions to use the new Fair Work Australia Act responsibly in the current round of wage negotiations. The recent Fair Pay Commission decision not to increase the minimum wage sends a broader signal about wage restraint.”

Councillors were informed that the Premier, Honourable Mike Rann, has agreed to officially launch Ai Group South Australia at a reception in Adelaide on 28th July.

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