About ASEA

ASEA is a non-partisan, non-profit, non-union, membership-driven association that advocates on behalf of Arkansas state employees, and offers exclusive benefits to its members. ASEA’s mission is to unite all state employees to create a better future for employees and citizens of Arkansas through quality state government.

ASEA believes that employees are the most-important of state government’s resources. ASEA encourages high-quality work performance and professionalism by all state employees. ASEA is governed by an appointed board made up of active and retired state employees. This board represents all regions of Arkansas, and various agencies.


ASEA famously came from humble beginnings; our first "office" was the trunk of L.D. Owen's Plymouth, our original Executive Director. The genesis of the association was in 1967, when a group of employees began to have meetings to discuss concerns about the state retirement system; meetings which would lead, in the following year, to the creation of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement Association, or APEA. Soon after, the new association resolved to expand its concerns beyond retirement, and in 1970 became the Arkansas Public Employees Association. By the end of the decade, the association would refine its focus to specifically state employees' interests, and delegates at APEA's 1979 convention would vote to change the name to what we know now - the Arkansas State Employees Association, or ASEA. Other noteworthy milestones in the associations' over 40-year lifespan have included the creation of the VanPool commuter program in 1979, the institution of the State Employees Benefit Corporation (SEBCO) in 1986 to provide optional benefits to members, and the purchase in 1987 of the 7th Street office building in downtown Little Rock that houses the ASEA/SEBCO staff to this day.

Highlights of the association's efforts include the following:

2017  New Pay Plan passed. Merit returned to base salary.

2017  Paid Maternity Leave passed. 

2015  An act to include certain college savings plans for voluntary payroll deduction.

2015  An act to authorize paid leave for absence during a national disaster for a state or city employee simultaneously employed as a federal emergency disaster relief team employee.

2015  An act to amend payment for claims to covered public employees to include certain forms of cancer developed by firefighters in the line of duty.

2015  An act to clarify the Ceal Act to include graduations, homecoming ceremonies, award and scholarship presentations, and classroom parties.

2015  Political Freedom Act - increased protection for state employees from discipline from public employer.

2015  Amendment to the Uniform Shared Leave Act to include maternity leave.

2015  ASEA drafts act to allow accrued time to be paid out in the event of death in the line of duty for officers of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas Highway Department.

2013  Successful Un-Can the COLA campaign.

2013  Home Health aides' mileage reimbursement rate increase.

2013  Catastrophic Leave amended to let employees donate leave to a specific co-worker in their agency.

2013  CEAL Act Expansion to include guardians of developmentally disabled adults.

2003  Grandchildren added to "immediate family" for sick leave.

2001  Privacy of state employee home addresses established.

1999  28-and-Out passed.

1997  The Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP).

1995  Five-year vesting.

1991  Catastrophic Leave Act passed • Direct deposit.

1989  Career Service Recognition Program established.

1985  Increased employer contribution to health insurance.

1979  Employee Suggestion Award Act passed.

1977  Non-contributory retirement plan.

1976  Uniform Leave and Attendance Act passed.

1972  Legislation passing the group health/life insurance plan.