TORONTO - Ontario's child-care workers say the provincial government is acting like a deadbeat by not helping to end pay inequity and letting so-called "women's work'' remain underpaid.

January will mark the 20-year anniversary of the province's Pay Equity Act but female workers say it's been a fight all along to get governments to recognize it.

The workers say the issue lies in getting a fair wage for jobs that are held predominantly by women.

They say pay for important jobs in sectors like child care and nursing have fallen way behind the times and are unreasonably low.

The Equal Pay Coalition says it's ridiculous the average child care educator has a two-year college diploma but only makes about $23,000 a year.

Workers say the government should pay $78 million to help raise current pay levels and another $470 million to bring equality to salaries over the next few years.