Mark Serwotka

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Serwotka in 2008

Mark Serwotka (/ˈsɛərvtkə/; born 26 April 1963)[1] is General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), the trade union for British civil servants.

Early life[edit]

Born in a Catholic orphanage in Cardiff, Wales, he was adopted by a Polish-born British father and a Welsh mother.[2]


In 1979, aged sixteen, he joined the Civil Service, and started work as a benefits clerk, joining the union on the first day.[citation needed]

Election as general secretary[edit]

Serwotka became a union representative in 1980 and a personal case officer in 1995.[3]

In the 2000 election that saw Serwotka elected General Secretary, he initially faced two rival candidates: Hugh Lanning of the Membership First faction and the incumbent Barry Reamsbottom of the National Moderate Group.[4] However, Reamsbottom did not secure the fifty branch nominations needed to appear on the ballot paper. Serwotka then beat Lanning with 41,000 to 33,000 votes.[5]

Following Serwotka's election, Reamsbottom refused to step down when his term of office expired, citing what he claimed were legal irregularities in the election process.[6] The dispute was taken to the High Court where Serwotka won and subsequently assumed office.[7][8]

In 2005, Serwotka was elected unopposed for another term as General Secretary; no other candidates were allowed to stand as he was the only candidate with the required 25 branch nominations. In 2009, Serwotka was re-elected for a five-year term, gaining 37,866 votes against Rob Bryson's 21,883.[9] In 2014, he was elected unopposed for a fourth five-year term.[10]

In the 2000 General Secretary election, Serwotka pledged that if elected he would only accept the equivalent of an average civil servant's wage. Serwotka returns around £8,000 of his annual salary to the union.[2] In 2011, his total package was worth £126,258 including pension contributions of £27,860.[11]

Political views[edit]

Serwotka was a member of Socialist Organiser in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He caused controversy during a speech at the 1985 Annual Conference of the Civil and Public Services Association when he described part-time workers, many of whom were trade union members, as "Scab Labour". He was later a supporter of the Socialist Alliance and then Respect.[12]

In February 2013, Serwotka was among those who gave their support to the People's Assembly in a letter published by The Guardian newspaper.[13] Serwotka attempted to vote in the 2015 Labour Leadership Election, but was among those who had their vote rejected by the party.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Married, Serwotka is an avid Cardiff City fan and lives in Chipstead, Surrey.[15]

Ahead of a visit by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010, Serwotka was named as one of the hundred most influential Catholics in Britain by The Tablet.[16]

In 2013 he was fitted with a battery-powered ventricular assist device after picking up a viral infection from the family dog.[17]


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". London: The Telegraph. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2014. Mr Mark.H.Serwotka, General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union, 49 
  2. ^ a b "Union boss Mark Serwotka hits out at 'fat cat' claims over £86,000 salary". Wales Online. 24 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Mark Serwotka". Debretts. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  4. ^ Osler, David (18 July 2002). "PCS Conspiracy Flashback: TUCETU, IRIS, and TRUEMID". 
  5. ^ Foot, Paul (29 May 2002). "Hard to say goodbye". The Guardian. London, UK. 
  6. ^ Maguire, Kevin (24 May 2002). "Union leader refuses to quit". The Guardian. London, UK. 
  7. ^ "Left-winger wins union court battle". BBC News. 31 July 2002. 
  8. ^ "Case No: HC 02CO1433 Neutral Citation Number: [2002] EWHC 1642 Ch In the High Court of Justice Chancery Division". 31 July 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mark Serwotka re-elected". PCS News centre. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Mark Serwotka re-elected unopposed". PCS News centre. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Annual Return for a Trade Union" (PDF). Retrieved 5 October 2013.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  12. ^ "Key players in the union movement". BBC News. 5 September 2007. 
  13. ^ People's Assembly opening letter 5 February 2013, The Guardian Newspaper.
  14. ^ "Labour leadership: Mark Serwotka of PCS union has vote rejected". BBC News. 26 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Owen, Glen (26 June 2011). "Strike leader has £26,159 paid into his pension pot every year (the average salary of his members is £22,850)". Daily Mail. London, UK. 
  16. ^ Bates, Stephen (14 September 2010). "The church that Pope Benedict will find in Britain". The Guardian. London. 
  17. ^ Maguire, Kevin (4 April 2016). "Union leader who's kept alive by BATTERIES backs campaign for opt-out organ donor register". Daily Mirror. 

External links[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Barry Reamsbottom
General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union
2002 – present
Succeeded by