Election addresses

The candidates in the elections for PCS general secretary and PCS assistant general secretary have written election addresses, which you can read below.

The candidates for the position of PCS general secretary are Fran Heathcote and Marion Lloyd.

I ask you to elect me as the next General Secretary of PCS based on my record of successful leadership of the union, hard work and commitment. As PCS National President I have been proud to lead our union during our dispute over pay, jobs and pensions, winning more money for members suffering from the cost of living crisis. But we have not yet won enough. I am currently employed as an EO in the DWP and I share the concerns of low paid members. I pledge that as General Secretary I will continue our campaign, working every day to improve members’ living standards and working conditions. I have travelled the UK to support and encourage our reps and members, listening to your concerns. I will make this a priority if I am elected. You are the union, you must be consulted, listened to and above all, valued.


A vote for myself as General Secretary and Paul O’Connor as Assistant General Secretary is a vote to step up our successful campaign for pay, jobs and pensions. Under my leadership, working closely with current General Secretary Mark Serwotka, PCS has developed a bold industrial action strategy, including sustained, targeted action, that has won for members. This has maximised the impact on employers while minimising the financial impact on members. Members endorsed our strategy by a majority of 90% in the consultative ballot on our national campaign. You overwhelmingly rejected the strategy put forward by our opponents in this election, which was nothing more than calling for more unpaid strike action, which many members told us they could not afford. Our campaign has forced the UK government to concede on pay. Now we must restore our pay to decent levels and win pensions justice.


I believe in the power of trade unions, in building solidarity and unity amongst working people. I will build consensus wherever possible and unify people around the issues that matter to members. I will ensure everyone has a voice and is heard. A STRONG CAMPAIGNER I am a proud anti-austerity campaigner, arguing for fair social security, for tax justice, defending public services and against all cuts and privatisation. I speak at events across the UK, and have a strong record of building effective alliances with other trade unions and campaign groups. As President, I oversaw the widely admired campaign for safe passage which successfully challenged the Government’s immoral small boats ‘push back’ policy in the High Court. A STRONG ORGANISER I believe in the need to be organised to build strength and infl uence. I have a proud record of Ieading PCS’s organising work including our recruitment programme which has brought thousands of new members into the union. Membership is now at the highest level for many years, putting PCS in the strongest position for the period ahead.


The government’s withdrawal of the check-off method of deducting union subscriptions threatened to bankrupt PCS. Alongside Mark Serwotka and Paul O’Connor, I mounted successful legal challenges which have won £3 million in damages so far, with much more to come. As President I have strengthened the union’s legal strategy on personal injuries at work, winning £10 million in compensation for members.


I am the PCS lead national negotiator. I am currently in important talks with the Cabinet Office over UK civil service pay and job protection. I will use my bargaining experience, alongside industrial action when necessary, to secure real gains and protection for members.


I chair the union’s Equality Coordinating Committee, overseeing the first Pan-Equality seminar which brought together women, LGBT+, Black and disabled members’ reps in a groundbreaking forum, building unity in our ranks. I am a longstanding supporter of our equality networks, including our tremendous young members network, and have worked over many years to give all under-represented groups a voice in PCS. TRANSFORMING THE UNION During the pandemic PCS had to radically change the way we worked to defend members. We built new ways of communicating with digital technology and made the union even more accessible to members, with hybrid conferences and Facebook live events.


Continue campaigning to improve pay, to win fully funded, above inflation pay increases and a return to national pay bargaining.

Defend jobs and working conditions, with good staffing levels to deliver high quality services and more flexible ways of working.

Bring the government to account over our pensions, using campaigning and legal means to rectify the 2% overpayment.

Continue to defend your redundancy terms. We have successfully defended the Civil Service Compensation Scheme against government cuts, including a victory in the courts winning hundreds of thousands for members.

Challenge discrimination wherever it occurs. Encouraging more diversity amongst our membership increases our grassroots strength. I will prioritise greater participation in the union’s democratic structures by women, Black members, disabled members, LGBT+ members and young members. I will work to create unity across all our equality groups.

Defend flexible and homeworking arrangements. After winning hybrid working during the pandemic, we will defend flexible working arrangements everywhere that members want them.

Develop strategies to strengthen the rights of privatised workers, working to improve their pay, terms and conditions.

Ensure PCS remains a democratic, inclusive, member-led union. PCS has developed historic advances in democracy for the devolved nations, with new policy conferences and executive bodies for Scottish and Welsh members. I lead that work.

Direct union resources to local PCS branches to support their hard work on protecting members in the workplace, and reach out to new and younger layers of activists, building strong workplace union organisation.


We desperately need a strong union, free from divisive politics.

Our members deserve a serious, hardworking leadership that will bring people together to fight for better living standards and working conditions.

I will provide that leadership.

Vote for Fran Heathcote as General Secretary and Paul O’Connor as Assistant General Secretary.

Please vote for me for General Secretary and John Moloney for Assistant General Secretary. We stand on our winning record and will work tirelessly to protect jobs, improve pay, and defend pensions. We are the candidates for change.

Government attacks will continue. Announcements to “cap” jobs for a “leaner, modernised civil service” mean we need a strong, active union to respond effectively.

We must elect leaders with a clear programme - a leadership with backbone, one that respects the democracy of PCS.

My pledge

I will not take the £100,000+ General Secretary wage. I will stay on my current wage and pay the difference back to the union.

I will:

Campaign to win: protect jobs and offices; improve pay, pensions and conditions.

The current leadership has let us down. I consistently questioned their approach to the national campaign. We needed earlier and sustained national action supported by targeted action. Not balloting for action short of a strike was a mistake.

Despite this, our action forced £1,500 from Government.

My opponent squandered our advantage, neglected to pin down details of £1,500, or press for more. Opportunities missed – particularly having won a second ballot.

If elected I will:

  • rebuild our national campaign, place fresh demands on the employer, include opposition to office closures,
  • build, in consultation with you, an industrial plan capable of winning: include national/selective action and overtime bans,
  •  place demands on employers at all levels to protect jobs and services. Artificial Intelligence used to improve our working lives, not cut jobs,
  • co-ordinate with other unions on pay, jobs and against anti-union laws.

 I have faced redundancy and losing my office. I know how it feels. But I know with the right plan, we can succeed having led the campaign which saved all our jobs and offices.

Build PCS

I am serious about winning on issues that are important to you. This means a strong union in every workplace. This will reverse membership decline. The current leadership has starved branches and reps of resources and assistance. They failed to consult you before investing millions in an IT system which doesn’t deliver for reps, nor enables members to access vital information.

I will return support to branches, including:

  • information and help to communicate with you.
  • money to build local campaigns that are important to you.
  • access to quick legal advice when you need it. 
  • answering the phone when you ring HQ for help.
  • overhauling PCS Digital.
Support Commercial Sector members.

Members working for private sector employers deserve effective support and to feel part of the union too. I will work with members/reps, increase resources, and build on recent successes. These include the ground-breaking work for ISS/ Aramark members in my Group tackling low pay and poor conditions and following talks led by me, privatisation plans shelved, keeping hundreds of people/jobs in the public sector and bringing people/jobs out of the private sector.

Improve working conditions.

Eroded terms and conditions mean long hours and reduced fl exibility. Years of cuts and heavy workloads mean increased stress.

As a working mum, I understand that juggling home and work is hard. I remain passionate about winning improvements to help achieve a better balance. I will lead a union-wide campaign to restore terms and conditions, create a stress-free, familyfriendly, and environmentally conscious workplace with good quality jobs and training. This must include work to combat climate change.

Equality: root out discrimination

The government has drawn the battle lines: a “value for money” audit on equality and diversity - a direct attack on everyone. This is dangerous, divisive and must be opposed. This starts with equality proofing and impact assessing all proposals.

Overlooking equality damages us. Before leaving negotiations and calling off action, my opponent failed to equality proof the £1500. Many members were dealt a bitter blow when they received £1500, pro-rated and taxed. Part-time workers, those claiming benefits, those paying student loans were ignored and some members were left worse off.

I will promote a union culture which is inclusive and unites everybody against discrimination. I will ensure our equality structures are properly supported and enable all underrepresented groups to work together to develop an approach to prevent division.

Place demands on those with aspirations for government. 

An election is coming. This government must go. I will prioritise placing demands, including inflation-proof pay rises, job protections and repealing anti-trade union laws, on all parties with aspirations to govern. We should support those politicians who support our members and policies, whether in the UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament, or the Senedd. The needs of our members must come first.

A winning record

I am the most experienced negotiator standing for General Secretary. I understand our union. I understand the problems at work: I experience them daily. I am a socialist, part of the Broad Left Network and committed to working with everybody who wants to progress our union’s agenda.

Starting in the Ministry of Defence at 16, I have worked in big Departments including DWP, small Departments including Education and Health, Agencies, and the Commercial Sector.

Elected over many years to the National Executive Committee, President of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Group and Branch Chair, means I have concrete experience to represent all members.

I deliver real improvements. Negotiating with the employer, working with reps and members, backed up with campaigning and organising I have:

  • Protected thousands of jobs, secured permanent employment for temporary staff, defeated 40% job cuts, kept offices open and won ‘no compulsory redundancy’ guarantees.
  • Won agreements to return jobs to the public sector. Protected members in the Commercial Sector, including pension rights and access to civil service jobs.
  • Broke the link between pay and performance in multiple employers. 
  •  Secured childcare vouchers to ease the cost burden for parents.
  • Won some of the best safety arrangements during Covid, including a tax-free, homeworking allowance for all staff.

I have years of experience building campaigns and winning.

Vote Marion Lloyd for General Secretary. Vote John Moloney for Asst General Secretary.

The candidates for the position of PCS assistant general secretary are John Moloney and Paul O'Connor.

Please re-elect me as your Assistant General Secretary (AGS) and elect Marion Lloyd as your General Secretary.

My salary pledge

When I stood for election, I pledged not to accept the full AGS wage. Since then, I’ve donated over £100,000 to the PCS Fighting Fund. If elected I will continue to give money back. Your subscriptions should not give me a lifestyle that you can only dream of.

The current leadership is failing you
  •  Not one extra penny was added to UK civil service 2022/23 salaries despite the wonderful action taken by you. 
  • Members in the UK civil service received the worst 2023/24 public sector pay award.
  •  Tens of thousands of members are forced to rely upon increases to the legal minimum wage to see their wages increase. 
  • In the absence of pay progression many members are stuck at the bottom of their pay scale
  •  We are no closer to unified civil service national pay rates, where your salary is determined by your grade and not where you work.
  •  We have two tier workforces, with newer staff on worse terms than older staff.
  • Harsh sick absence rules prevail everywhere
The Union you deserve

You deserve a union that is serious about winning improvements but is upfront and honest with you. PCS should stop spinning retreat as advance and defeat as victory.

You need a Union with an industrial strategy that will deliver inflation proof and above, pay rises. As it stands, many of you are facing another winter of spiralling energy and food costs that you cannot afford. 

A Union that delivers on issues in the here and now but which also possesses the strategic vision to: 

  • Prepare for future threats, such as that posed to jobs by Artificial Intelligence.
  • Treat climate change as a key union issue. 
  • Campaign for outsourced work to be brought in-house.
Time for change

Despite members electing me to the second most senior national officer position many AGS responsibilities are allocated elsewhere and I am excluded by PCS’ highly factional ruling group from key talks with the Cabinet Office.

On many issues I am a lone voice in PCS HQ e.g. on the need to equality check management proposals, which I pioneered in the civil service 25 years ago. If that check had been applied, the leadership would not have accepted pro rata payment of the £1,500 cost of living payment for part time members, who are overwhelmingly women and carers.

How can change be achieved?

I am committed to: 

Building Union Power

In many areas, less than 50% of employees are members. PCS must be a super majority union with membership levels back above 70-80%. To recruit and retain members, I am committed to allocating long-term resources to support branches and to organise around members’ workplace issues.

Supporting our workplace representatives

Our workplace representatives work tirelessly yet they do not get the support they need from HQ. I am committed to overhauling the support available to them to include:

  • Better provision of legal advice and representation.
  • Significantly improving PCS’ website and digital tools.
  •  Providing the tools representatives need to communicate effectively with members. 
  • Empowering employer groups with the resources they need to successfully deliver their own campaigns.
  • Improving the organisation and representation of private sector members.
  • Drawing on all members’ talents irrespective of alignment - I support PCS IL - or none.
  •  Scottish and Welsh government members to better determine the demands and form of their campaigns. 
  • Giving areas such as the MET police, Northern Ireland, and PSG more prominence and help within PCS.
A wider vision

PCS must:

  •  Offer a vibrant political challenge to austerity.
  •  Stand four-square against sexism, attacks on women’s reproductive rights, fascism, all forms of racism, migrant scapegoating, homophobia and transphobia. I stand for trans rights and those of non-binary people.

On the basis of PCS’ conference policies, I have promoted solidarity with Ukrainian trade unions and Ukraine’s right to self determination.

I advocate an immediate halt to the siege of Gaza; condemn Hamas’ attacks; condemn collective punishment of Gaza and settler attacks in the West Bank; and champion an independent Palestine alongside Israel – for two states and equal rights.

My record

By way of further examples:

  • I played the critical role in establishing that the Crown is the legal employer of all UK civil servants, the starting point for working out members’ rights; for example, to fill vacancies elsewhere in the civil service to avoid redundancy.
  •  Secured single site, cross departmental, Health and Safety Committees using legislation and the identity of the Crown as the single employer, eroding delegation barriers, and promoting the safety of members. 
  • I was the lead negotiator in winning departmental wide bargaining in Department for Transport. 
  • I’ve successfully handled hundreds of personal cases. So I know what it is like not to have the support of PCS HQ. And that’s why I provide branches across PCS with practical advice and support.

As AGS, I’ve already made equality central to my work. I have:

  • Developed and am pursuing proposals for improving maternity leave, baby loss policies, and disability rights.
  • Systematically provided PCS reps, both locally and nationally, with key arguments, model letters, and model policies to support them in their negotiations with the employer
  •  Sought a radical overhaul of sickness absence regimes and mandatory trigger points that impact disproportionately upon lower grades, older members, and women.
  •  Pushed for PCS to take seriously the discrimination that members from underrepresented groups face in getting promoted. 
The union you deserve

PCS can be so much better than it is now. It can and should be a force to be reckoned with. We have so much potential that remains untapped. The election of Marion and I would be an important step towards the PCS you deserve and need.

I am standing for election as Assistant General Secretary on my proven record of winning for members.

PCS members have been facing the worst cost of living crisis in living memory. So far, we have won significant gains on pay through the new industrial action strategy which I developed in my role as a senior officer of the union.

But the concessions are not enough and our campaign must continue.

If elected your priorities will be my priorities – increasing your pay, and protecting your pensions, jobs and terms and conditions.

I was a workplace union rep in Revenue & Customs for nearly twenty years. I then became a full time officer and I am now a senior national officer leading the union’s work on industrial disputes and high profile legal action. 

I am the candidate in this election for Assistant General Secretary with the proven track record of delivering for members.


 Working with Mark Serwotka and Fran Heathcote, our brilliant President, we have transformed PCS into a union that has won real gains for members in difficult times.

Winning better pay

 As a senior PCS full time officer, I devised our targeted industrial action strategy resulting in concessions this year by the government of a lump sum payment in members pockets and a doubling of the pay remit for civil service departments.

Members overwhelmingly endorsed our strategy, voting 90% in favour in the consultative ballot. You rightly rejected the view put forward by the other candidates in this election – they simply called for more unpaid strike action, which many members told us they could not afford.

Our campaign has forced the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments to make concessions. This is because we have a serious strategy. Now we must use that strategy to restore our pay to decent levels.

Having a strategy to win matters. Previously, I devised a strategy at the Home Office that won significant pay rises for low paid members at a time of pay restraint, setting the benchmark for other subsequent deals.

Winning against the government

I steered the union’s legal challenges to the withdrawal of the check off facility for union subscriptions that defeated the government and won the union £3 million so far, with more cases still to come. I have won eight Judicial Reviews against the government in the High Court on behalf of members.

Defending jobs 

As a union rep in Revenue & Customs I led the industrial campaign that secured the first no compulsory redundancy agreement in the civil service during the then cuts programme.

I led Home Office members through an industrial action campaign at the time of the 2012 Olympics to force the employer to agree to 1,100 more jobs at a time when the civil service was making mass cuts through austerity.

Defending terms and conditions

I identified the legal argument and steered the judicial review proceedings that led to the High Court overturning the UK government’s attempts to cut your redundancy terms by 33%, putting £100 million a year in members pockets. Our national campaign has now forced the government to abandon its manifesto commitment to making those cuts in this Parliament.

Campaigning for equality

I led the unions legal action against the government’s attempts to force a hostile environment on our members in the Home Office and against its demonisation of refugees, defeating the government on its small boats ‘pushback’ plans and its immoral Rwanda policy.

 As a PCS union rep, I developed the policy that led to termtime working arrangements in Revenue & Customs, benefiting thousands of women in particular.

Deepening democracy

I am part of the union’s leadership which has now developed historic advances in democracy for the devolved nations, with policy conferences and executive bodies for Scottish and Welsh members.

Strong union workplaces

I re-directed union resources to PCS branches to support their hard work on recruitment and organising in the workplace, saving millions of pounds in running costs in the process.

Private sector

I worked with branches to devise industrial action strategies that have won real gains for private sector members, including at ATOS IT, HGS, ISS and Fujitsu.

Transforming the union

I played a key role in transforming the way the union worked during the pandemic. We developed new ways of communicating, holding hybrid conferences and Facebook live events, which have resulted in record levels of engagement with members.


Win more for members on pay. Continue to develop our groundbreaking industrial action strategy, minimising the financial impact on members while maximising the industrial impact on the employer, to improve pay, job security and terms and conditions.

Organise to protect members at work. Build union power in your workplace to win through collective bargaining.

Strive for equality. Fight discrimination and injustice and work for greater participation in the union’s democratic structures by women, Black members, disabled members, LGBT+ members and young members. Unity is strength.

Bring the government to account over pensions. Use campaigning and legal means to rectify the 2% overpayment.

Increase democracy. Work to increase turnouts in elections and provide more opportunities for all members to participate in the union. Increase democratic membership control over negotiations with employers.


Mark Serwotka has been a fantastic General Secretary. I am extremely proud to have had his support. PCS now enters a new era.

We face significant challenges. Decades of austerity policies have had disastrous consequences for public services. Living standards have collapsed while the rich continue to increase their profit margins.

This is a crucial election. We need a strong union like never before.

Fran Heathcote and I have the track record of winning for members and the experience of shepherding the union through the toughest of times. We have a plan to deliver wins for members at a time when they are needed more than ever. Help us deliver it.

Vote for Paul O’Connor as Assistant General Secretary and Fran Heathcote as General Secretary