In 1979, a group of retirees led by William A. Major, Fred E. Zeigler, and Louis L. Goldblatt realized that to preserve and improve their retirement, they needed better representation in Montgomery. Since there were no organizations focused on the issues and concerns of retirees, the Alabama Retired State Employees Association was formed.
On March 6, 1980, Major, Zeigler and Goldblatt, along with 143 charter members officially founded ARSEA and developed what has become Alabama’s leading organization for state and local retirees. Two-thirds of the charter members came from the Departments of Industrial Relations, Revenue, Conservation, Corrections, Public Health, Highway, Pensions & Securities and other, smaller agencies scattered throughout state government.
ARSEA was, and still is, governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, each retired from public service and elected by the membership. The original board included President William A. Major, Secretary Betty Morgan, Treasurer Tom Shackelford and members Fred E. Zeigler, Louis L. Goldblatt, Norman Walkley, Fount R. Hammock, Jeanette E. Barrett and J. Frank Cox, all of whom gathered for the first meeting on March 27, 1980.
ARSEA continued to increase its presence with the addition of a post on the Employees’ Retirement System Board (ERS) in 1981 and a local government retiree position in 1984. In 1985, ARSEA added two state retiree positions on the State Employee’s (Health) Insurance Board (SEHIB) and one representative on the Local Government Health Insurance Plan Board (LGHIP).
The Alabama Public Employees’ Advocacy League (APEAL) is a statewide organization representing state, city, county and public board employees. We work to ensure that promised pension and health insurance benefits are available when our members decide to retire.
ARSEA and APEAL joined forces in 2012 and now, working together, have an even stronger voice. With their combined membership of more than 17,000, ARSEA/APEAL is considered to be among the most influential and respected groups representing active and retired employees in Alabama.