BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The head negotiator for the University of Vermont Medical Center nurses union has resigned in the middle of contract talks.

The Burlington Free Press reports the nurses union issued a statement Saturday thanking Julie MacMillan for her "hard work and dedication." MacMillan had led the group during contract negotiations since March 29.

Union president Laurie Aunchman said MacMillan's "guidance and leadership" was vital to the group's success so far. The nurses went on a two day strike last month.

MacMillan didn't return a call for comment.

Higher wages remain a sticking point for the contract.

The nurses are seeking a 22-percent raise over three years.

UVM Medical Center President Eileen Whalen has said the hospital is hopeful a new offer will receive support from nurses.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com