Mark Serwotka

General secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union

Mark Serwotka is the general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union - the UK's largest civil service union, with around 300,000 members in over 200 government departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector.

Born in south Wales in 1963, Mark started work at 16 in what was then the DHSS as a clerical officer, and served in the benefits service for 21 years, including seven years as a part-time worker to enable him to look after his children.

During his two decades as a civil servant he held a wide range of union positions, including being responsible for employment tribunal cases. Standing as a socialist candidate and a rank and file branch secretary from the DSS Sheffield branch of PCS, he was elected to the post of general secretary in December 2000 and is almost unique among his peers, having come straight from the shop floor.

Mark is a passionate believer in public services and the welfare state, as well as a dedicated Cardiff City fan and season ticket holder. He is married with two teenage children.