Vanessa Stevens-Blais, 23, was looking to get a raise this fall at her job at the University of Windsor. Instead, there will be no raise and she's handing out resumes trying to get a new job.
"I found out today I don't have a job, there's nothing left for me," said Stevens-Blais, who has worked for the university in various capacities for the past six years.
She was making $13.29 and was counting on finally getting a big bump to about $20 this November.
"So many years, I've been waiting for this a long time... I don't know what I'm going to do. I wanted to go back to school," she says while starting to cry. "How am I going to pay rent? How am I going to feed my dog?"
She then put her head in her hands and cried.
Among the casualties
Stevens-Blais is among several food services and housekeeping workers who have been cut by the University of the Windsor.
CUPE Local 1001 originally said as many as 70 positions were cut but later said the number was more than 50.
University spokesman John Coleman said there are "42 fewer job postings" in the departments in an interview Friday with CBC News. The cuts are "part of a process" and Coleman could not say how many jobs will ultimately vanish.
The jobs have been cut from the food services department, and a handful of food kiosks and outlets on campus will close.
Union speaks out
Workers, like Stevens-Blais, usually work on campus from September to April. At this time of year, workers are usually happy as they are picking their job for the upcoming academic year.
"It's a sad day many members are being laid off," said Milka Vasic, vice-president for CUPE 1001. "People come in here with a big smile on their face and then you actually have to tell them you actually have nothing."
The university and the union both say the cuts are due to a reduction in the number of students living in residence. The demolition of Electa Hall, and both phases of the Clark Residence closed for renovations, means there are fewer students living in residence and buying meal plans.
"One is being demolished and one is not in use. Residence is not full, therefore we're not funded," said Vasic. "Money comes from residence meal plans."