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More than 4,000 hospital workers and 3,000 school board workers in Nova Scotia could be facing strike action as early as January 11.

The CUPE hospital workers are in 33 hospitals in rural Nova Scotia, outside of Halifax. The school board workers are in eight school boards, also outside of Halifax.

And a group of 3,500 long term and community care workers are not far behind them, facing similar issues in bargaining.

The key outstanding issue for the hospital group is maintaining wage parity with their counterparts in Halifax, something they have had for 10 years now.

For the school board group, it is a contract offer that’s inferior to ones that have been given to other workers in the sector.

No new talks are currently scheduled.

Back in November, at the height of the H1N1 pandemic, the hospital group gave the public an assurance they would not strike before January 11.

Both groups are already in a legal strike position.