TORONTO - Striking college faculty are rallying outside government offices in Toronto, calling on the province to send college administrators back to the bargaining table.

The labour dispute has seen classes cancelled at Ontario's 24 colleges, affecting about half a million full-time and part-time students.

At today's rally outside the Ministry of Advanced Education, the president of the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union, which represents the striking workers, says the province needs to exert pressure on the College Employer Council to restart talks.

Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said last week that the province needs to let the collective bargaining system work.

The strike involving more than 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians began on Oct. 15, after the two sides couldn't resolve their differences by a deadline of 12:01 a.m. the next day.

The union wants an even split between full-time and contract faculty positions, but the colleges have said that would add more than $250 million costs each year.