About 400 Osseo teachers showed up at the school board meeting this week to urge administrators to make a better contract offer.

Members of Education Minnesota - Osseo have been working without a contract since July. They are asking for a salary increase and better health insurance.

They say the district will lose its top talent to other districts if it doesn't increase it's current salary offer.

"It can't be another zero percent increase," said Kelly Wilson, union president.

Teresa Lunt, the school board's chairwoman, characterized the talks to this point as "respectful" and "professional."

"I feel we can reach an agreement that will be acceptable to all," she told the teachers Tuesday.

Union officials say the district has offered them a pay increase of 1.75 percent for the 2014-2015 school year. The district proposed holding salaries flat for this school year.

The union has proposed a salary increase of 3 percent for the 2014-2015 school year. Teacher say they have lost about 5 percent in salary over the past four years when adjusted for the cost of living.

Both sides are scheduled to meet Friday. If no progress is made at that meeting, negotiations will enter mediation, union officials say.

Photo by Education Minnesota