profile image

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.
May Told to Pay Up After Historic Vote By Own

May Told to Pay Up After Historic Vote By Own Workers

Our ballot result is a damning indictment of government pay policy. If the government continues to refuse to listen and refuses to end the pay cap, our members have made it absolutely clear that they are willing to take industrial action to end a pay policy opposed by the majority of the public. Theresa May and Philip Hammond have a clear choice - they can listen to their own staff and end the pay cap or ignore them at their peril.
07/11/2017 18:04 GMT
Scrap The Public Sector Pay

Scrap The Public Sector Pay Cap

The PCS consultative ballot runs until the November 6th. While we know it is most effective to campaign against the pay cap across the public sector, PCS members must show our employers, ministers and the chancellor that we are prepared to fight to end the cap. We urge other public sector unions to become ballot ready too. We are stronger together.
10/10/2017 11:15 BST
Ministers Are Ducking Responsibility Over

Ministers Are Ducking Responsibility Over Pay

This government is far from the strong and stable one we were promised by Theresa May. And while we are not there yet, with more of a concerted and unified campaign from the unions, I believe we can bring an end to the pay cap. But it must mean an end for all public servants and the pay rises that would follow must be pay rises across the board. Nothing else will be acceptable.
04/07/2017 15:43 BST
I Will March For NHS Staff, I Owe Them My

I Will March For NHS Staff, I Owe Them My Life

On Saturday I will be speaking at a protest rally. It feels good to be able to say that again, as it's something I've really missed over the last few months and this one is particularly special -- you might say it's close to my heart.
02/03/2017 17:15 GMT
Fantastic Support Helps Me Work While Waiting For A New

Fantastic Support Helps Me Work While Waiting For A New Heart

For me, living as normal a life as possible is very important. This week, for the fourth time I got the call to say there was a donor heart available and, for the fourth time, the operation was cancelled because the organ wasn't suitable. People who know me know I'm a resilient character, but there would be no point pretending I don't feel the strain of dealing with the rollercoaster of emotions that throws up  -  and particularly the impact it has on my family.
25/11/2016 16:53 GMT
Why Our Wonderful NHS Is So Close To My

Why Our Wonderful NHS Is So Close To My Heart

I don't know how long I'm going to be in here before my transplant, but my stay so far really has hardened my resolve to ensuring we defend our NHS with everything we've got. That means defending the services from budget cuts and privatisation. And it means defending the healthworkers who have been treated appallingly, with their pay and pensions slashed, their contracts ripped up and even hints now that foreign doctors won't be welcome in the UK in the future... We really can't say it often or loud enough -- our NHS is very special. The greatest achievement of a time of political optimism, when national pride meant public investment. Our health service is the envy of the world, we can't afford to let the Tories grind it down.
04/10/2016 13:58 BST
Corbyn Is The Antidote To Tory Cynicism And Bad

Corbyn Is The Antidote To Tory Cynicism And Bad Faith

We said supporting Jeremy's leadership was in the best interests of our members. Just days after his re-election, this fresh attack on employment rights to pave the way for tens of thousands more job cuts -- which we will obviously fight -- provides real proof that we were right to do so.
30/09/2016 17:06 BST
Corbyn Embodies Trade Union Principles of

Corbyn Embodies Trade Union Principles of Democracy

The principles of democracy - of solidarity, tolerance and respect - are what our trade unions and the Labour party are built on. They are Jeremy's principles. They drive the policies that inspired 250,000 people to elect him by a landslide just 10 months ago. And I hope and believe they will again.
18/07/2016 17:22 BST
I Have Rejoined Labour to Support Jeremy

I Have Rejoined Labour to Support Jeremy Corbyn

On too many issues Labour aped the Tories for too long. It set itself apart from people like me - afraid to call itself socialist, even as the inequalities and injustices inherent in capitalism were plain for all to see. I never again want to watch as Labour MPs cheer a Labour prime minister announcing that tens of thousands of civil servants will lose their jobs, while public services are being privatised, lining wealthy shareholders' pockets.
02/03/2016 18:19 GMT
Double Whammy Pay and Tax Credit Cuts for Public

Double Whammy Pay and Tax Credit Cuts for Public Servants

Five months in, we already have a very clear picture of life under a Tory government. It is a gruesome image, but one that we do not have to accept. We can defeat these grossly unfair cuts to tax credits and in so doing expose the fact that austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity.
20/10/2015 16:05 BST
Despicable Budget by a Despicable

Despicable Budget by a Despicable Government

George Osborne has always been described as a "political chancellor", as if there was really any other kind. But his first Tory-only budget confirmed he is more than comfortable with the nasty politics of division and hypocrisy.
09/07/2015 10:20 BST
Time to Modernise Politics and Reform Flawed Voting

Time to Modernise Politics and Reform Flawed Voting System

What we have is bland and complacent two-dimensional politics, where Tories and Labour vie for a mythical centre ground and target policies at handfuls of voters in marginal seats. A fairer system would genuinely shake this consensus and could help diminish the concept of the protest vote, sidelining those who play the system only to stoke fear, hatred and suspicion.
05/02/2015 17:11 GMT
Leaked HMRC Memo Reveals Anti-Union

Leaked HMRC Memo Reveals Anti-Union Plot

The revelation that senior HM Revenue and Customs officials have been plotting to undermine and isolate my union that represents 50,000 of their staff is not just shocking, it is sinister evidence of an increasing politicisation of the civil service.
13/11/2014 17:16 GMT
Bob Crow Was the Very Best of Trade

Bob Crow Was the Very Best of Trade Unionism

Bob Crow was the greatest trade union leader of his generation and his death came as a devastating shock to me and millions of trade unionists. I would like to send my union's heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. I can't imagine how they are feeling and I hope the media respect their request for privacy... Bob once asked why it should be just the bankers, the politicians and the idle rich who enjoyed the finer things in life. While some try to beat us by sowing the seeds of envy, Bob offered hope that a better world is possible.
11/03/2014 16:36 GMT
Floods Expose Absurdity of

Floods Expose Absurdity of Austerity

The floods have exposed the gossamer thin argument for austerity and the cold, cruel ideology that underlies it. The inescapable truth is that we all rely on properly funded and resourced public services - maybe not directly every minute of every day but, nonetheless, all the time, because the alternative means abandoning people when they most need our help.
12/02/2014 17:25 GMT
Strangle Lies and Spin About Our Welfare

Strangle Lies and Spin About Our Welfare State

Screaming headlines in the tabloid press - shamefully parroted by much of the rest of our media and compounded by unrepresentative and degrading TV programmes like <em>Benefits Street</em> - are solely designed to smear our welfare state and the people who rely on it.
17/01/2014 15:10 GMT