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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Left-winger wins union court battle
Royal Courts of Justice
The court decision was welcomed by the left-winger
A left-winger has won his battle to head the UK's biggest civil service union after a bitter court battle.

The High Court has ruled that Mark Serwotka was the general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) as of 1 June.


I was elected general secretary on a programme of re-establishing national civil service pay and opposing privatisation

Mark Serwotka
Barry Reamsbottom had stayed in the job despite the fact Mr Serwotka won the battle to succeed him in a membership ballot.

Reacting to the decision Mr Serwotka said: "I am extremely pleased that the High Court has accepted that the members elected me as the general Secretary of PCS.

"I was elected general secretary on a programme of defending PCS members jobs, re-establishing national civil service pay and conditions and opposing privatisation.

"PCS will now continue working for high quality public services and improving the service that the union provides to members and representatives at the workplace."

Appeal?

But Mr Reamsbottom expressed disappointment at the result.

"A wrong was done when Mark Serwotka was elected to the post of general secretary - members were not balloted on whether there should be an early election for the post, and many members may have been disenfranchised as a result.

"I am talking to my lawyers about an appeal on that issue."

The court battle followed a decision by the union's national executive committee to let Mr Reamsbottom keep his job.

That prompted the court action by Mr Serwotka and PCS national president Janice Godrich which ended in the ruling that he was validly elected to his new role.

The judge ruled that a supposed meeting of the union's ruling committee, held on 23 May, 2002, had not been validly convened and any decisions taken therefore had no effect.

See also:

20 Jul 02 | Politics
15 Jul 02 | Politics
26 Jun 02 | Politics
19 Jul 02 | Politics
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