At midday today the ballot of union members for PCS Union’s General Secretary election closed. I am pleased to say that votes have now been counted and the results have been published with the declaration that Mark Serwotka, the incumbent, has been re-elected as the union’s General Secretary for a five year term. With the election result Mark will continue to lead the UK’s largest civil service union for the next five years.

Standing against Mark were Marion Lloyd and Bev Laidlaw, both of whom are current lay activists (and NEC members) within the union. The results were:

  • Laidlaw, Bev: 5,059 (16.44%) – Independent Left
  • Lloyd, Marion: 9,278 (30.17%) – Independent (although backed by the Socialist Party)
  • Serwotka, Mark: 16,420 (53.39%) – Left Unity

With more votes than the other candidates combined this is a strong mandate for Mark Sertka’s continued leadership of the union but the votes for all candidates were respectable. This blog sends congratulations to Mark and commiserations to Marion Lloyd and Bev Laidlaw.

The national PCS website records the following message of thanks from Mark: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be elected as PCS general secretary for the fifth time. I wish to thank all PCS members and reps for their support of our union, and in particular those that campaigned and voted for me.

“In my election campaign I said we would need a strong union whatever the result of the general election. To achieve that I hope that members will participate in all our future campaigns and that many of you will become active in your union.

“I will now work with the national executive committee to build the effective organisation that we need; more members involved in the union’s decision making, more members getting active, more workplace reps, and a vibrant union culture in more of our workplaces. That is the way together we can win fair pay for all and defend our pensions.”

The turnout in this election was 18.6% which is disappointingly below the 21% of members who voted in the last contested General Secretary election in 2011. There is an urgent need to increase engagement of members in union ballots, and one way that could be achieved of course is for section 51 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidated) Act 1992 which requires postal ballots to be repealed or amended so as to allow secure (and secret) online and workplace ballots.