My name is Evren Altinkas. I am the Election Office for the 2023 CUPE 3913 election.
As the Election Officer, it is my duty to keep you informed and be transparent about the election process. As someone who has experience in elections (local-national-international, in the Middle East and in Europe) as a supervisor and election officer, I was recently blamed by one of the candidates as being “very disrespectful” and with the lack of “civil decency in a respectful workplace”. The candidate in question is Mr. Akshay Chadha, who is running for president.
I am writing this to all members eligible to vote in this election, in case Mr. Chadha tries to build up an argument against myself in the future, regardless of the results of the election.
On February 6, 2023, I sent an email to all the candidates for the contested positions, asking to learn about their availability for a candidate Q&A via Zoom.
On February 8, 2023, Mr. Chadha responded to me with his availability.
Accordingly, on February 9, 2023, I informed the candidates that the Q&A session will be set for February 17, 2023 at 3.00 PM to 5.00 PM via Zoom. I also added that the session would be recorded and sent out to the membership.
Then, on February 14, 2023, I sent another email to the candidates, explaining that there will be a moderator at the Q&A session, that the session would be recorded to the Members in Good Standing, and that during the session the members will ask questions to the candidates.
On February 16, 2023, I sent an email to all Members in Good Standing, and informed them that they can send their questions for the Q&A, before the meeting.
On February 17, 2023 Mr. Chadha did not show-up to the Q&A meeting.
On February 21, 2023, I sent an email to Mr. Akshay Chadha. In my email, I attached the questions that were asked during the live and recorded Q&A meeting and provided Mr. Chadha a chance to respond to those questions in a written format.
As the Election Officer, it is my duty to send the questions that were asked during the live session to Mr. Chadha. For the sake of transparency and fairness, I could not (and will not) “filter” the questions. So, I sent them as they are.
On February 23, 2023, Mr. Akshay Chadha sent me his answers.
Since Mr. Akshay Chadha specifically said “I would hope that the current election officer will maintain a fair and level playing environment” in one of his answers, I sent him an email and asked the reason for this specific sentence. I wanted to learn if he felt that there was a discrimination and/or unfair attitude towards him or not.
In his response dated February 24, 2023; Mr. Chadha blamed me by being disrespectful for allowing “such questions to be asked and published online”.
Dear Members, please be aware that as an Election Officer, I do not hold any superpowers such as reading human minds and predicting what types of questions will be asked to the candidates. This is a political competition and each of the members have the right to ask any questions they wish to the candidates (unless the questions are defamatory or insulting).
If Mr. Chadha had shown up at the Q&A meeting, the members would ask him questions live. Again, it is beyond my capabilities as a human being to control the content and scope of the questions. Since the Q&A Session is recorded, it would be unfair to “filter” the questions that were asked live during the meeting.
I am sending you this statement to kindly inform you about the process. I will keep on maintaining my neutrality as any Election Officer would do; however I am not carrying out this duty to be blamed as “disrespectful” and being taught about “civil decency in the workplace” by anyone.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. If you wish, you can send an email to my personal account: firstname.lastname@example.org.