WINNIPEG - A Manitoba First Nation accused of not paying its teachers says it doesn't need the federal government to step in.

Sandy Bay Chief Russell Beaulieu says a previous band council drove the reserve into debt and the First Nation is working to repay creditors.

The Manitoba Teachers' Society says teachers' paycheques have bounced and retirees can't get access to their pensions.

Beaulieu says the band is pocketing insurance and pension premiums to make payroll.

The union says Ottawa should appoint a third-party manager to address chronic financial problems on the Sandy Bay reserve.

Beaulieu says a third-party manager would fire band employees and cause more socio-economic hardship for the First Nation.