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Welsh union leader to retire at the end of the year

17 May 2023 2 minute read
General secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, Mark Serwotka – Photo: Aaron Chown PA Media

The leader of the biggest civil service union has announced he is to retire at the end of the year.

Mark Serwotka has been general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, (PCS) since 2000, and was re-elected four times.

He was president of the TUC in 2019.

The PCS is currently embroiled in a dispute with the Government over pay, jobs and conditions which has led to months of strikes.


Mr Serwotka, who grew up in Aberdare, said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve as PCS general secretary for 23 years.

“I have endeavoured to represent PCS members to the best of my ability and to fight for their interests.

“We have led the way within the trade union movement on challenging the political consensus that working people must accept cuts in their jobs, pay and public services.

“Today PCS is in the best place it has been for many years.

“We have withstood attacks on our union from Conservative governments and we are now growing.

“We are winning historically high votes in industrial action ballots which beat the Tory ballot threshold and we have developed an effective industrial action strategy for the future.

“We have young members coming forward to become a new layer of activists.

“Our financial position is the best it has been in years.

“People will be aware that I have had serious health issues resulting in a heart transplant in 2016.

“Such issues need to be considered in making decisions about the future.

“Taking into account what is right for myself, my family and the union, I have decided that now is the time to announce my retirement.”

A timetable for the election of a new general secretary will follow in due course.

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Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
1 year ago

A brave man in the tradition of Welsh Trade Unions. He has made the right decision and deserves to be congratulated for his endurance and work although I by no means always agree with him. I wish him well and hope that he enjoys a comfortable and long retirement in the best health he can obtain.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 year ago

Mark has been one of the outstanding trade union leaders of modern times – he will be much missed.

Stephen George
Stephen George
1 year ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Hear, hear! I’ve known him (not well) for over 40 years and he was my general secretary for many years. I don’t agree with all his politics but a talented, principled, nice guy.

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