Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
Public and Commercial Ser
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Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)


Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)

Politics and Administration


Public and Commercial Services Union is the sixth largest trade union in the United Kingdom. Most of its members work in UK government departments and other public bodies.


The union was founded in 1998 by the merger of the Public Services, Tax and Commerce Union (which mostly represented the executive grades of the Civil Service) and the Civil and Public Services Association (mostly representing the clerical grades). The General Secretaries of the two unions, John Sheldon and Barry Reamsbottom respectively, became Joint General Secretaries of the new union. In 2000, Mark Serwotka was elected General Secretary and has held the position since: he was elected unopposed in 2005 (no other candidate received enough valid nominations from PCS branches); he was re-elected in 2009 for a five-year term, and in 2014 was re-elected for a further five years. In 2018, the union won £3 million in damages from the Department for Work and Pensions, after a legal challenge against the withdrawal of the "check off" system of paying union subscriptions.

Membership and organisation

The union had 195,901 members at the end of 2015 and is the largest trade union representing civil servants in the UK.

PCS is organised into groups that deal with different bargaining units such as Revenue and Customs, Work and Pensions and Law and Justice.

Two factions compete in elections to the National Executive Committee of the PCS, its governing body: the ruling Left Unity faction, which stands candidates as part of the Democracy Alliance, and an opposing Independent Left faction.


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Alena Potapova

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