Civil and Public Services Association

The Civil and Public Services Association (CPSA) was a trade union in the United Kingdom, representing civil servants.

Civil and Public Services Association
Civil and Public Services Association logo.jpg
Merged intoPublic and Commercial Services Union
Headquarters160 Falcon Road, London, SW11 2LN
  • United Kingdom
216,000 (1980)[1]
PublicationRed Tape[2]
AffiliationsTUC, CCSU, CSA


The union was founded in 1921, when the Civil Service Clerical Union and the Clerical Officers' Association merged to form the Civil Service Clerical Association (CSCA). It affiliated with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Labour Party and had around 16,000 members.[3] Its Dublin branch left the following year, to form the Civil and Public Services Union.[4]

Following the 1926 United Kingdom general strike, the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act 1927 was passed, requiring government employees to disaffiliate from political parties and trades union confederations, compelling the union to leave the Labour Party and the TUC. It rejoined the TUC in 1946.[3]

In 1969, the union renamed itself the Civil and Public Services Association. In 1973, the Ministry of Labour Staff Association joined the CPSA, then the Court Officers Association joined in 1974.[3]

In 1980, the CPSA published a history of its first 75 years, From Humble Petition to Militant Action.[5]

In 1985, the union's Postal and Telecommunications Group left to merge with the Post Office Engineering Union, forming the National Communications Union.[6]

The CPSA merged with the Public Services, Tax and Commerce Union in 1998, forming the Public and Commercial Services Union.[3]

1986 General Secretary ElectionEdit

Militant supporter John Macreadie initially won the ballot. However, the election was blocked and the courts ordered it to be re-run, with John Ellis receiving 42,000 votes, Macreadie 31,000, and the Broad Left '84 candidate, backed by the Communist Party, 13,000.[7]

General SecretariesEdit

1921: William Brown
1942: Len White
1955: George Green
1963: Len Wines
1967: Bill Kendall
1976: Ken Thomas
1982: Alistair Graham
1986: John Ellis
1992: Barry Reamsbottom


  1. ^ David Farnham, Employee Relations in Context, p.268
  2. ^ Marsh, Arthur (1984). Trade Union Handbook (3 ed.). Aldershot: Gower. p. 158. ISBN 0566024268.
  3. ^ a b c d "Archive Catalogues: Civil and Public Services Association (CPSA), earlier the Civil Service Clerical Association (CSCA)". University of Warwick. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  4. ^ Smethurst, John B.; Carter, Peter (June 2009). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing. p. 368. ISBN 9780754666837. LCCN 80-151653.
  5. ^ Wigham, Eric (1980). From Humble Petition to Militant Action. Civil and Public Services Association. ISBN 9780901411051.
  6. ^ "Post Office Engineering Union Research Department 1887-1994". University of Warwick. Archived from the original on March 30, 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  7. ^ Taaffe, P. (30 November 1995). Rise of "Militant": Thirty Years of "Militant". Militant Publications. pp. 292–3. ISBN 978-0-906582-47-3.

External linksEdit