Calvary Hospital cleaners plan to strike for 24 hours next Monday over what has been called an "insulting" wage increase by the union representing the workers.
Cleaners have been offered only an hourly increase of 5 cents, this was on a base rate of $22.02 an hour.
United Workers Union delegate Cibele Webbe said the workers wanted a fair raise so they could afford to pay their bills, rent and to simply put food on the table.
"We are not asking for favours. We are asking to be paid a fair amount for the amazing work we deliver," she said.
Ms Webbe has been a cleaner at the hospital for almost three years. She said negotiations with the hospital's contractor, Compass Medirest had been ongoing for several months.
She said cleaners at Calvary were paid significantly less than cleaners at the Canberra Hospital.
"Canberra Hospital cleaners make $3 per hour more than us," Ms Webbe said.
"We do the same job and we got a 5 cent offer and they don't even want a conversation to change it.
"We want the same pay that Canberra Hospital gets."
United Workers Union has called on Calvary Hospital to meet with the workers and held a protest out the front of the Bruce hospital on Thursday morning.
As well, they said that Compass Medirest had made an application to the Fair Work Commission to prevent them from striking next Monday.
But Ms Webbe said they would not be deterred.
"We are not going to get scared, we are going to stop [work], we are going to fight for our rights," she said.
"Maybe that is going to be a way to show them how important we are."
The pay increase was an insult to the cleaners who have worked on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic, United Workers Unions director for property services Lyndal Ryan said.
"These hospital cleaners are all migrant workers, many of them on work visas," she said.
"Their decision to take industrial action is a brave and considered step.
"Throughout the pandemic cleaners have been publicly lauded as heroes. Despite fears for their own safety and the well-being of their own families, these cleaners have turned up every day for work."
The union have asked for a meeting with Calvary Hospital management to discuss the wage increase but said this had been refused.
Calvary Hospital did not directly address questions from The Canberra Times about the refused meetings or whether they thought the wage was sufficient.
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Instead, a spokesman sent through a statement.
"Calvary respects the industrial process currently involving our cleaning services contractor and the union representing the contractor's employees," the statement said.
"We would like to reassure Canberrans that arrangements are in place to maintain cleaning staff at existing levels which will ensure Calvary continues to be a hygienic and safe environment for patients, visitors and our staff.
"Cleaning services will remain at the standards established after the COVID-19 public health emergency was declared in March 2020."
Compass Medirest said they were unable to comment while negotiations were ongoing.