Mark Baker

PCS Public Sector Group – MHCLG PINS branch


I have served for most years on the NEC since 2002. Coming from a smaller Group, it is important that our experiences are brought to the NEC. This is vital to reps in smaller areas.

Our union membership levels stand at their highest since 2014. Thousands of new members have been enthused by our current industrial action campaign. The deepening cost of living crisis and the incompetent response to it from a weak and divided Tory government means that this is a dispute that with our leadership and the flexibility we are deploying, maximising pressure on employers through targeted action whilst minimising the individual financial loss to members, can be won. Our opponents in these elections want to reverse this strategy.

From 1 April more than 46,000 civil service workers will be on the National Living Wage following statutory increases. It has been the Left Unity leadership that has exposed this scandal. The Tories want a minimum wage economy starting with their own workforce – we can stop them.

The Left Unity led NEC and our leadership in Groups have secured agreements that have kept our members safe during the pandemic and now form the basis of longer-term beneficial changes, but we have not been afraid to lead membership action where it has been necessary, or to make difficult decisions when necessary too. Maintaining an experienced NEC team will be vital and I hope you will continue to support those who have made this possible.

I have been active in the union for over thirty years – the whole of my working life. Nearly all of this time is with the Planning Inspectorate – an Executive Agency of DLUHC, which alongside many other smaller diverse employers are organised in the PCS Public Sector Group.

I have remained a Branch Secretary during my time on the NEC carrying out personal casework, negotiating and organising at a local level, balancing this with a frontline official job in recent years thereby understanding all the pressures that Branch and Group reps are under on an everyday basis.

I have held most Branch roles over the years but also a leading lay pay and conditions negotiator as TUS Secretary in what remains a busy bargaining unit – we have negotiated a range of measures in the last two years to increase flexibility on an agreed basis to our members work/life balance which in turn has improved diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Having to organise our members in different ways has proved challenging but the fact that we have managed to win successful industrial action ballots and improved membership and activity levels shows that we are adapting to these changed circumstances with increasing levels of success.

I have also served on various NEC sub-committees including the Policy and Resources Committee, Finance and International Committees and the South West Regional Committee previously as Chair. Our large and very diverse region has been at the forefront of many of the Union’s national campaigns around pay and against office closures. For the last couple of years I have acted as NEC Liaison Officer for the HMRC Group giving me a greater understanding of the experiences of larger PCS Groups.

Our Left Unity team of candidates, part of the Democracy Alliance NEC list, combine both newer reps and the vital experience required in leadership as well as being fully representative of the diversity of our PCS membership.

I hope and trust members will continue to give us the support to continue this work.