How we are run

PCS is a democratic union. As a member you can vote for who represents you and have the opportunity to stand for election yourself.

Members are organised into branches, which are often based around workplaces, the branches are organised within employer groups across the civil service and related areas. 

The general secretary is the most senior elected full time official, and is elected every five years. Their work includes meeting with the Cabinet Office and government, and leading on negotiations on pay, pensions, and terms and conditions, as well as being the public voice of PCS with the media. Fran Heathcote has been PCS general secretary since 1 February 2024 when she replaced Mark Serwotka, who retired.

Our assistant general secretary (AGS) is John Moloney; he was first elected in 2019 and re-elected this year.

PCS is run by the national executive committee (NEC), which is elected every year following nominations put forward by branches. The NEC is led by the president, the most senior lay official in the union.

The NEC is responsible for carrying out the policies that are decided on at our annual conference and for making decisions on policy between conferences. It is made up of a president, deputy president, three vice presidents and 30 ordinary members. It meets regularly as a whole and also has sub-committees such as the national disputes committee which can authorise industrial action.

Our current president is Martin Cavanagh. Martin is an employee of the DWP. He was previously deputy president and was elected as president in the elections that closed on 9 May 2024.


Martin Cavanagh (DWP)

Deputy president

Bev Laidlaw (DWP)

Vice presidents

Jacqueline Green (HMCTS)

Dave Semple (Department For Education)

Hector Wesley (HMRC)

Ordinary members

Karen Alderson (HMPO)

Tom Bishell (DWP)

Fiona Brittle (Scottish Government)

Paula Brown (Health & Safety Executive)

Saul Cahill (DWP)

Josh Chown (Home Office)

Eleanor Clarke (Cabinet Office)

Bridget Corcoran (DWP)

Gemma Criddle (HMRC) 

John Davidson (HMRC)

Chris Dando (Ministry Of Defence)

Cathy Darcan (HMRC)

Chris Day (National Archives) 

Alan Dennis (Ministry Of Defence)

Angela Grant (DWP)

Chip Hamer (Sport England)

Rachel Heemskerk (DWP) 

Ros Hewitt (Ministry of Justice)

Ian Lawther (HMRC)

Marion Lloyd (Department For Science, Innovation & Technology)

Chris Marks (DWP) 

Samantha Martin (DEFRA)  

Jas McGuinness (Maximus Chda)

Vijay Menezes-Jackson (DWP) 

Sarah Morton (DWP) 

Cara Nurse (HMRC) 

Marianne Owens (HMRC)

Rob Ritchie (Met Police)

Annette Wright (HMRC)

Bobby Young (HMRC)

As a democratic union PCS is guided by a set of rules which:

  • govern our structures
  • formalise our policy-making processes
  • act as a constitution for the union.

Download and read the PCS rule book. 

Mae PCS yn undeb democrataidd. Fel aelod, gallwch bleidleisio dros bwy sy'n eich cynrychioli a chael cyfle i sefyll mewn etholiadau eich hun.

Mae aelodau wedi’u trefnu mewn i ganghennau, sydd yn aml wedi’u seilio ar weithleoedd. Caiff y canghennau eu trefnu o fewn grwpiau cyflogwyr ar draws y gwasanaeth sifil a meysydd cysylltiedig.

Yr ysgrifennydd cyffredinol yw'r swyddog llawn amser etholedig uchaf, a chaiff ei ethol bob pum mlynedd. Mae ei waith yn cynnwys cyfarfod â Swyddfa’r Cabinet a’r llywodraeth, ac arwain ar drafodaethau ar gyflogau, pensiynau, a thelerau ac amodau, yn ogystal â bod yn llais cyhoeddus PCS gyda’r cyfryngau. Mae Fran Heathcote wedi bod yn ysgrifennydd cyffredinol y PCS ers 1 Chwefror 2024 pan gymerodd le Mark Serwotka, a ymddeolodd.

Ein hysgrifennydd cyffredinol cynorthwyol (AGS) yw John Moloney; cafodd ei ethol gyntaf yn 2019 a'i ailethol eleni.

Mae PCS yn cael ei redeg gan y pwyllgor gwaith cenedlaethol (NEC), a etholir bob blwyddyn yn dilyn enwebiadau a gyflwynir gan ganghennau. Arweinir yr NEC gan y llywydd, sef swyddog lleyg uchaf yr undeb.

Mae'r NEC yn gyfrifol am weithredu'r polisïau y penderfynir arnynt yn ein cynhadledd flynyddol ac am wneud penderfyniadau ar bolisi rhwng cynadleddau. Mae'n cynnwys llywydd, dirprwy lywydd, tri is-lywydd a 30 aelod cyffredin. Mae'n cyfarfod yn rheolaidd yn ei gyfanrwydd ac mae ganddo hefyd is-bwyllgorau fel y pwyllgor anghydfodau cenedlaethol sy'n gallu awdurdodi gweithredu diwydiannol.

Ein llywydd presennol yw Martin Cavanagh. Mae Martin yn weithwyr i'r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau. Cyn hynny roedd yn ddirprwy lywydd a chafodd ei ethol yn arlywydd yn yr etholiadau a ddaeth i ben ar 9 Mai 2024.

PCS prides itself on being a progressive, democratic, member-led union and treats complaints from members very seriously.

The union derives its power and influence from workers joining together to achieve common goals such as protecting jobs, improving pay and conditions, ensuring workplaces are safe and free from discrimination and promoting trade union values. 

We are more likely to achieve those goals when our collective strength is underpinned by good working relationships and mutual respect for other PCS members. Harmony, cooperation and understanding make us stronger. Festering complaints and unresolved grievances weaken our resolve and unity. PCS reps are volunteers, often working in their own time, to represent members’ interests at the workplace.

We pride ourselves on the quality and professionalism of our representation. However, when things go wrong, we aim to put things right quickly. This procedure sets out a process for members to follow should they wish to make a complaint or are unable to resolve a serious difference at local, branch or group level without third party assistance.

PCS standards of behaviour
PCS believes that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and that any kinds of behaviours that undermine these basic rights will not be tolerated. The standards expected are set out in our PCS Harassment Protocol.

The most serious complaints, involving allegations which are considered by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to have potentially ‘seriously prejudiced’ the interests of the union, are dealt with under the Rule 10 process.

There is a separate process for complaints against full time officers of the union.

Dealing with complaints
This procedure is intended to ensure that PCS members are aware that:

  • Any member or branch wishing to make a complaint or seek mediation knows how to do so;
  • The union responds to the complaint quickly and in a sensitive, courteous and efficient way;
  • Members’ complaints are taken seriously and properly dealt with;
  • The union learns from the complaints and where complaints are found to be justified, takes appropriate measures.

Rights of members
Nothing contained in this complaint and mediation procedure replaces the right of members and reps to refer a complaint about union services, structures and personnel direct to the General Secretary or the rights of members under the rules and constitution of PCS or contract law.

How to make a complaint
The procedure has three stages:

Stage 1: Informal / problem solving
Many complaints or potential complaints can be resolved quickly by discussing the complaint with your PCS branch or PCS group. This is where the process should start and, unless there are exceptional circumstances, the informal stage should be exhausted as a first step.

Complaints at stage one may be made either in writing or by email to the Branch Chair.  In the event that the Branch Chair is the subject of the complaint, the complaint should be referred to the Group or Occupational Association President. Early intervention mediation could be considered as a means of a resolving the complaint at this informal stage and branches should seek the advice from the Group President if this is a viable option.

Stage 2 – Formal complaint
This stage involves a formal complaint concerning a PCS accredited lay official(s) or another member(s).
The complaint should be made in writing using the PCS internal complaint form and sent to the PCS Deputy President To aid the investigation it would be helpful if the complainant clearly stated what they would like PCS to do and the outcome they seek.

The complainant will receive an acknowledgement of the complaint. Regard will be given to the complexities of the case concerned, but it is the union’s intention to complete the investigation process and respond to the complaint within one month. The member will be advised of the reasons for any delay. 

The PCS Deputy President in consultation with the relevant Group President or Occupational Association President (or Group or Occupational Association Vice President in the event that the Group or Occupational Association President is the subject of the complaint), will appoint a senior lay official or ask the General Secretary to appoint a full time officer, who will investigate the complaint and determine whether it is justified.

The investigating officer will advise the member of the findings and any action that will be taken after consulting the Deputy President. At the conclusion of the investigation the complainant will be informed that if they remain dissatisfied with the way that their complaint has been dealt with, they can request a review of the decision by the National President.

Such an application must be made within 28 days of the date of the letter from the Investigating Officer. This review is stage 3. In the event that the National or Deputy President is the subject of complaint the complaint should be referred to the General Secretary.

Stage 3 – Decision review
A request for a review of the investigating officer’s decision should be made in writing to the National President The complainant will receive an acknowledgement. The National President will request a report from the investigating officer and review relevant paperwork.

Regard will be given to the complexities of the case but it is the union’s intention to respond to the review process within one month. The member will be kept advised of the reasons for any delay.

Complaints against a PCS employee
Complaints about the behaviour or actions of a PCS employee are dealt with separately from this procedure. Complaints of this nature should be sent directly to the General Secretary’s office

The General Secretary’s office will make enquiries about the complaint as considered necessary. The General Secretary, or a senior officer appointed by the General Secretary, will write to the member within one month of the complaint being received.

Rule 10 complaint
A complaint against another PCS member(s), where the NEC believes there are grounds for considering that the member being complained about has ‘seriously prejudiced’ the Union's interests, is dealt with in accordance with Supplementary Rule 10 of the national union rules. 

Supplementary Rule 10 procedures should be used rarely and only for the most serious cases. For example, they should not be used to deal with arguments between members. The kinds of disciplinary offences which Rule 10 is designed to deal with include the following:

  1. A serious breach of one of the Union’s rules 
  2. Misappropriation of union funds 
  3. Bullying and harassment 
  4. A serious breach of the union’s equal opportunities policies

Any complaint against a member under this Rule shall be made in writing to the General Secretary who shall, having considered that it relates to a matter seriously prejudicial to the union’s interests, refer it to the NEC.  

If the general secretary considers that the complaint does not fulfil the Supplementary Rule 10 criteria, however relates to a matter that should be looked into, the member will be referred to the complaints procedure set out above.