PCS general secretary election: FAQs

We answer members’ frequently asked questions about the PCS General Secretary election

What are the dates?

The ballot opens Thursday, 7 November and closes Thursday, 12 December at noon.

Why is it a postal ballot?

The law requires this to be a postal ballot, in the same way that ballots for industrial action have to be conducted by post.

Why is it important to vote in this election?

It’s very important that members vote in this election and that PCS branches encourage a good turnout. A good turnout in our elections strengthens the union and helps our representatives stand up for members.

How often is a general secretary elected?

General secretaries of trade unions are required by law to be subject to election after no more than five years. The PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) has decided the timetable for this election.

Who can stand for election?

The election process, determined by the NEC, states that for a candidate to stand in the election they must have nominations from at least 15 PCS branches. Those nominations had to follow agreement by a branch general meeting called by the branch executive committee in accordance with the union’s rules.

Who runs the election?
The law requires statutory election ballots such as this to be carried out by an independent scrutineer appointed by the union. PCS has appointed the Electoral Reform Services (ERS) to run this election.

Who counts the votes?

The independent scrutineer, the Electoral Reform Services, will count the votes.

What happens if I haven't received a ballot paper?

If you haven’t received a ballot paper by 14 November complete the online form to request a replacement.

Members who have recently joined do not need to request a ballot paper, they will automatically be included during the ballot period

The deadline for requesting replacements is 5pm on Wednesday, 4 December.


What's the latest date by which I can return my ballot paper?

Your ballot paper must be posted in time to reach ERS at noon on Thursday 12 December.

Who can vote in this election?

Ordinary members of the union who are member.


Can new members who join during the election period still vote?

Members who have joined the union by Monday 25 November will be eligible to vote.

Do associate and retired members get a vote?

No, only current members are entitled to vote.

I don't see why I need to vote, the general secretary won't make any decisions that affect me. Why should I bother?

The general secretary position is a highly influential one, and will be the person leading the negotiations on your pay, pensions, and terms and conditions. The more of us that vote in this election, the stronger the mandate the winning candidate will have.

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