Notification of Retirement - Patty Coates, OFL President | The Ontario Federation of Labour

Notification of Retirement – Patty Coates, OFL President


After much reflection and conversation with my family, I write to share that I will not be seeking re-election for another term, at the upcoming OFL Convention in November. As such, I have made the decision to retire as President of the OFL effective January 1, 2024. This was not an easy decision to make. 

In my over 30 years of activism and involvement within the labour movement, my time as an elected officer of the Federation, is amongst my greatest and most rewarding accomplishments. Specifically, over the course of the last seven years as an elected officer of the OFL, I have had the opportunity to work alongside some incredible fellow officers, labour leaders, activists, and staff. 

I was elected as Secretary-Treasurer of the OFL in 2015 and came into that position knowing the huge challenges before us. In retrospect, I feel that I met those challenges head on, successfully improving the financial footing of the Federation and rebuilding confidence amongst affiliated members through improved transparency and accountability practices related to the OFL’s finances. 

In 2019, history was made when delegates at convention, put their trust in me, electing me as the first woman President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. 

I was honoured to take on the role of President at the OFL, with a commitment to continue building a strong, united, and powerful labour movement in Ontario. Little did we know, that shortly after taking office in 2019, we would be hit with a global pandemic, forcing the Federation to re-evaluate and find creative ways to build activism and advocacy across our movement. There are too many wins to list here but a few that stand out for me are our May 1st rallies across Ontario in 2022, building a strong coalition to fight Bill 124, bringing together the entire labour movement last fall to support education workers’, and force the Ford government to repeal Bill 28, and the recent community and coalition building towards successful Enough is Enough June 3rd events across Ontario. 

It has been an absolute and rewarding pleasure to work with so many incredible union and labour council leaders from across Ontario, and Canada. I have made so many memories and friends, that I will carry forward for years to come. 

Although I will be moving on to new adventures, I will remain a dedicated labour activist. I look forward to supporting you on picket lines, and advancing the incredibly important work of the OFL, our affiliated members and our allies.

Thank you for the trust you have placed in me, I thank everyone who has been supportive and an important part of this incredible journey.

Solidarity Forever!

Ontario Federation of Labour